@mind-wiper
Mind Wipe Time
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2021-04-23 06:04:49

    Potty Training

    Based on a story idea by Justbabyme.

    Matt shifted uncomfortably in his seat.  It was such an awkward topic for him to discuss, but it was the whole reason he was in Dr Jansen’s office, so there was no avoiding it.  

    “Have you always had these feelings about using the toilet?” the therapist asked.  

    Matt didn’t make eye-contact with her.  He couldn’t bring himself to face her as he answered such embarrassing questions.  

    “I guess so.  I mean, I wasn’t always quite this shy.  But I couldn’t… use a urinal, even when I was a kid.  I got stage fright, y’know?” 

    The therapist nodded kindly, taking down more notes. He hated when she wrote notes that he couldn’t see.  

    “You couldn’t pee in front of others,” she said, watching for his reaction.  

    Matt frowned at the word ‘pee’ just as she had expected.  

    “No, I never could,” he confirmed.  

    “But now it’s worse,” she went on. 

    “Yeah, well I have flatmates now and I… I can’t even… use the toilet, when they’re home and awake.  I have to wait until they’re out, or asleep.  If they hear me using it… I… I just can’t have that.”  

    “And in public?”  

    Matt quickly shook his head.  “I have to go home to… do number two.  I can do the other thing in a public restroom.  But, it’s not easy.  There can’t be anyone in the touching stalls.  Sometimes I can’t go unless the whole toilet is empty.  My bladder just won’t let go, no matter how hard I try.”  

    The therapist gave that unreadable neutral smile once again, jotting more notes.  

    “Don’t you find that outfit a bit hot in this weather?” she suddenly asked. 

    Matt was confused. Why the change of topic? He wasn’t here for fashion advice.  

    “It’s fine,” he said with a shrug. 

    But she didn’t take the hint to move back to the topic at hand.  

    “Long sleeves, jeans, surely you get hot and sweaty in this mid-summer weather?” she asked. 

    “People wear suits in the middle of summer, why should I be hot in this?” he retorted.  

    “True. Do you wear shorts and t-shirts sometimes then. At the beach at least?”  

    Matt saw where she was going with this now.  

    “No, I don’t like the beach.  And I don’t like shorts either.”  

    “You like being covered up.  You don’t like to be exposed in any way, do you Matt?” she posited. 

    He could only nod.  It was true.  

    “You’re a very closed in person in general Matt. You’re closed off from relationships, from developing new friendships.  And I think all these behaviours, especially your difficulty with the toilet points to a traumatic potty training experience.” 

    Matt rolled his eyes.  He didn’t need any of this freudian crap. He came to a therapist, not a psychoanalyst for just that reason.  

    “I can see you’re sceptical.”  

    “You could say that.”  

    “Tell me that I’m wrong then.  I know you likely don’t actually recall your own potty training, but you know your parents.  Would they have been kind, patient, supportive?”  

    Matt hesitated.  Of course he wanted to prove her wrong, but his parents were cold, demanding, very strict.  His mum in particular had been a neat freak.  No, she would not have been forgiving about the messes a potty training boy would likely make.  

    After a long moment of silence the therapist simply nodded knowingly.  

    “So what do we do about it then?” Matt asked.  

    “Well, I do actually have a therapy that is extremely effective for potty training issues. It’s a radical one though, and I know it may not appeal to you.  So first I want you to think about why you came to me, think about how these troubles are impacting your life right now,” she directed. 

    Matt thought about it and knew she was right. His current situation couldn’t continue.  It was impacting every part of his life on a daily basis.  

    “Okay, what’s the therapy? How radical is it?” he asked. 

    “I want to re-do your potty training,” she answered.  

    Matt snorted.  She had to be joking.  Except she looked dead serious.  

    “I don’t think that’s possible,” he told her.  

    “I assure you it is.  I’ve used this therapy successfully in the past for a few patients.  All were perfectly happy at the end of the treatment, no complaints at all.”  

    “I know how to use a toilet though.”  

    “You clearly don’t know the right way to use one.  We need to retrain your body and mind. And to do that, we have to start from scratch.”  

    “From scratch?”  

    “You know I’m a licenced hypnotist.  I can give you a session to take away your current toilet training.  Then we potty train you again, the right way.”  

    “So you’d have me wearing diapers?!”  

    “Pull-ups really.  The idea is you quickly learn to use the toilet the right way.”  

    “I’m not letting my flatmates see me walking around in fucking diapers, or pull-ups, or whatever you want to call them!” Matt snapped, getting frustrated now.  

    “No, no, of course not,” she assured him.  “You would spend the therapy session with two of my colleagues.  They’d be your surrogate parents, giving you the kind of loving, patient, kind potty training you should have had the first time, helping you lose all these phobias and hang-ups.”  

    Matt calmed down a little bit.  But he still had a lot of uncertainty.  

    “How long are we talking?”  

    “Well there isn’t a set timetable for potty training, but probably a week or two.  You’ve told me you’re on summer holiday anyway, so this would be a great time to get it done.”  

    Weeks of potty training, like a little toddler.  It sounded awful, but the alternative seemed equally terrible.  The chance to be normal, forever, was alluring as well.  

    “Who are these colleagues of yours?” 

    Dr Jansen smiled.  “They specialise in therapies of this kind.  They’re a couple and you would basically go and live with them while you have the therapy.  They have a lot of experience and I have complete faith in them.”  

    “How much does this all cost though?”  

    “It’s all covered by public funding.  They have a special fund for alternative therapies now,” she explained.  

    Damn, that really didn’t leave him with any practical reasons to refuse the therapy.  It was only his own disgust at the very idea of it.  Letting her take away his toilet training was terrifying. What if he couldn’t be re-taught?  What if he was stuck in diapers?  And then there was the idea of being so vulnerable like that in front of these strangers. It all freaked him out.  But he’d waited 3 months for this appointment, and if he refused her therapy, he’d be waiting even longer for another doctor to treat him.  Shit, he had to do it.  

    **

    “Push those hands together, nice and tight.  Push them tighter and tighter.  Feel them sticking together like super-glue, so tight you couldn’t possibly pull them apart.”  

    Matt listened as the therapist guided him into trance.  He wasn’t really certain he even believed that hypnosis was real.  But he was willing to try his best.  If he committed to something, he gave it his all.  So he imagined his hands becoming stuck together, pushed them so hard it almost hurt.  

    “Go ahead now, try to pull them apart. But the harder you try, the more stuck together they’re going to become,” she told him. 

    To his utter amazement, when he tried to pull them apart, his hands actually stayed stuck together. He pulled harder, but felt the stickiness only grow.  He focused all his effort on those hands. How could they really be stuck? He felt helpless, trapped.  

    Dr Jansen’s hand appeared out of nowhere, pressing his forehead.  “Deep sleep,” she ordered firmly.  

    There was a second of surprise and confusion. And then the world simply faded away, his muscles relaxing, his hands finally releasing.  Only the doctor’s soft hand on his forehead kept his head from flopping forward.  

    “That’s it, good job.  Deeper and deeper and deeper,” he heard her voice echoing through the blackness as consciousness ebbed away to nothing.  

    **

    Matt didn’t like the wet, clammy feeling around his loins when he woke up.  He quickly felt around his bed, seeing if any of it had leaked.  Thankfully the bed seemed dry, the sheets not ruined by his soaked diaper.  

    Damn that was embarrassing, needing to go to bed in a diaper.  Dr Jansen had supplied him with a whole pack because she’d totally removed his toilet training the day before.  Apparently he was an excellent hypnotic subject and went very deep into trance for her.  It was a good thing he’d woken up in soaking wet jeans she had assured him.  That meant the therapy could proceed quickly.  He wasn’t sure he agreed at all.  

    At least it would be short-lived, this embarrassment.  Jansen’s colleagues had been notified and they would be ready for his arrival this morning.  Of course he first had to change out of the wet diaper, put on a new one and get dressed.  

    He snuck quietly to the bathroom, on edge as ever.  What if they heard the crinkle? He’d surely die of the shame.  

    After using the wipes provided he sat down on the floor and haphazardly taped himself into a fresh diaper.  It was no easy feat.  He had it backwards at first, then couldn’t work out the tapes.  He felt like an idiot. And then he had to wear his baggiest pants to fit over the diaper, to conceal it completely.  

    **

    The house looked normal enough.  It didn’t appear like any medical facility.  There was no sign announcing this was a home office, a therapy centre.  Matt hoped he had the right place.  Thankfully the man who answered the door didn’t seem surprised to see him.  

    “Hello there, you must be Matty,” the man greeted him brightly.  

    “Um, yeah. It’s just Matt though,” he corrected.  

    “Come right in,” the man directed, failing to apologise.  

    Matt entered the house, feeling even more nervous about what he was getting into.  The man who answered the door looked to be in his thirties, solidly built with thinning brown hair.  He quickly placed his hand firmly on Matt’s shoulder, guiding him in.  Matt bristled.  He didn’t really like being touched.  But his host didn’t seem to notice, keeping his hand firmly on the shoulder.  

    “Is he here?” a new voice called out.  

    “Yep!” his host answered.  

    A second man appeared a moment later, also smiling, looking very pleased to see him.  This fellow was taller, probably a bit over six foot, with short blonde hair and green eyes.  He looked a bit younger than the first man, maybe thirty years old.  

    “Hi there, I’m Matt,” he quickly greeted the new man, extending a hand.  

    Both of his hosts just shared a laugh and his hand-shake offer was left unaccepted.  

    “Oh Matty, there’s no need for hand-shakes.  In this house we do hugs,” he was informed.  

    “Oh… um…” he stammered.  But before he could refuse he found himself enveloped in a tight hug from the blonde man.  He cringed, not returning the gesture, going stiff as a board instead.  

    “My goodness, he is tightly wound,” the first man commented.  

    “He really needs our help,” the hugger agreed.  

    “Well, let’s give him the grand tour,” his partner suggested as Matt was finally released from the hug.  

    “Okay Matty, first of all you can call me Daddy Greg,” the tall blonde man informed him.  “And this is Daddy Jim,” he added, gesturing to the dark-haired fellow.  

    Matt cringed, both at the continued use of the diminutive form of his name and at their insistence he call them ‘Daddy.’ 

    “Is that really necessary?” he asked.  

    Both daddies quickly nodded.  

    Jim placed his hand on Matt’s shoulder.  “You’re going to be our little boy now.  We know you had a tough time with potty training the first time. We’re not here to just teach you how to use the big boy toilet. We’re here to make it a fun, loving experience.”

    “While you're here, we’re going to be completely in charge,” Greg added.  “You don’t need to worry about anything more than playing, having fun, and using the potty when you’re ready.”  

    Playing? Matt was confused until the daddies led him into the lounge and he saw the toys all over the carpeted floor.  There was a Play Doh set, thick Duplo Blocks, Tonka trucks, all sorts of things to entertain a toddler.  

    “You can’t expect me to play with those,” he complained.  

    “I think you’ll find them a lot more fun than you expect.  But the most important thing in this room isn’t the toys, it’s right over there,” Greg explained, gesturing to a small red potty seat.  

    Matt frowned even more deeply. They couldn’t expect him to use an actual potty seat could they?  Jesus, it looked like they were dead serious.  

    “I can’t use that!” he exclaimed.  

    Jim’s hand was on his back, patting it gently, like that would keep him calm.  “Of course you can sweetie. You’re going to use it just like a big boy.”  

    Matt cringed.  “You know that isn’t what I meant!  I can use a normal toilet.”  

    “You’ve already proved that you can’t honey.  You aren’t ready for it.  So you need to start with the potty.  We’ll have it with us wherever you are, so you can pop onto it right away, as soon as an urge strikes you” Jim went on.  

    “But… there’s no privacy,” Matt whispered, almost shivering with shame now.  

    “No, there isn’t,” Greg agreed.  “Toddlers don’t have privacy.”  

    “And speaking of that, we need to get you out of those big boy clothes,” Jim told him. 

    Matt’s eyes went wide.  “What?!”  

    “Honey it will take you much too long to get out of those pants when the need to make tinkles or poopies hits you.  That’s why we have the potty so close to where you’ll be playing.  So let’s get you down to your pull ups, so that’s all you need to take off to do your business.”  

    Matt stepped back, shaking his head.  “You… you want me to be wearing nothing but my pull-ups?”  

    Both daddied nodded.  

    “You’ll be much more comfy anyway,” Greg assured him.  

    “Frankly it makes me a bit jealous,” claimed Jim.  

    But Matt wasn’t convinced at all.  “I’m sorry… I just… I can’t. I’m not ready for that.”  

    “We know it’s hard for you honey. That’s exactly why you’re here.  You have all these hang-ups and we’re going to help you let go of them.  And to do that, we need to slow down that busy little brain of yours.  We need to empty out those icky big boy worries,” Greg explained, taking Matt’s hands into his own.  

    “What do you mean?” Matt asked.  

    “Dr Jansen helped you the other day, she gave you some lovely suggestions to make this all go smoothly for you.”  

    “She took away my toilet training,” Matt agreed, blushing again.  

    “Yes, and she buried a few more very special, very important suggestions in your head,” Greg went on.  Seeing the look of horror on Matt’s face he quickly went on.  “But there’s nothing to fear.  It’s going to feel just lovely.  It’s going to be the most wonderful relief for you.”  

    Matt thought about yanking his hands away right now, running out the door and speeding away in his car.  But he hesitated.  His toilet training was already gone, he was in pull-ups already.  How could he explain that to anyone?  

    “Matty,” Greg prompted him, making him look back up at the man holding his hands.  “It’s time to get fuzzy for me.”  

    Matt felt it instantly, a strange fuzzy feeling inside his own head.  He felt light-headed, felt oddly disconnected.  

    “What? What’s going on?” he managed to ask.  

    Greg gently bounced his hands, smiling at him.  Jim was at his side, a hand on his shoulder.  He leaned closer, whispering in Matt’s ear.  

    “You’re getting fuzzy for us now.  You can’t help it.  You can’t stop it.  You’re just getting all fuzzy.”  

    The feelings grew more intense.  Matt felt instantly foggy and confused.  He couldn’t hold onto his train of thought, couldn’t understand what was happening.  The harder he tried to focus, the less he was able to.  

    Greg bounced his hands again, grabbing back his attention.  

    “Matty’s all fuzzy in his head.  A fuzzy silly little toddler for his daddies,” he cooed.  

    Matty felt the smile tugging his lips upwards.  He felt all bubbly and happy.  What a delightful, silly feeling to have.  

    But most of all, he felt little.  Daddy Greg and Daddy Jim hadn’t grown any bigger, but if felt like they were huge, like they were absolute giants.  

    Daddy Greg opened his arms wide, inviting Matty into another embrace.  And now it felt so natural to lean forward into daddy’s arms.  When those arms closed around him, held him tight, it didn’t feel awkward at all.  It felt so warm, so soft and more than anything else, safe.  He felt like nothing could ever hurt him now. He was safe in daddy’s arms.  Daddy would take care of everything. He could trust his daddies completely.  

    Matty let out an audible sigh of relief, squeezing his own arms tight around Daddy Greg, nestling his cheek against the older man’s shoulder.  It was so perfect, and then it got better. Daddy Greg planted a gentle kiss on his cheek.  

    “That’s daddy’s good little boy,” he cooed, before giving him another kiss.  

    Then new arms closed around Matty from behind him, as Daddy Jim joined the embrace, planting a little kiss of his own on the back of Matty’s neck.  “Yes, that’s so much better,” he whispered to him.  

    Matty was held in a loving sandwich between the two daddies.  He couldn’t recall ever feeling so loved and secure.  

    “Okay honey, I think you’re ready to get out of those big boy clothes now,” Daddy Greg declared as they finally ended the shared cuddle.  

    Matty remembered not wanting his clothes off before.  But he just felt so small and his head was all fuzzy now.  Why hadn’t he wanted them off?  He was sure there was a reason, but try as he might, he couldn’t come up with anything.  

    Daddy Greg was so smart, so big and caring.  He must know best.  Matty decided he should do what he was told.  

    “Okay Daddy Gweg,” he agreed.  

    Gweg? That wasn’t the right way to say it.  

    “Daddy Gweg, me… Matty sound funny,” he complained, feeling confused as his tongue didn’t work right and he found it so tricky to even get his words together. 

    “You sound perfectly adorable to me Matty,” Daddy Greg told him while lifting his arms up and slipping his shirt up and over his head.  

    He sounded adorable.  What did that mean?  It was a very big word.  Should he know big words like that?  No, he was little now.  His daddies and the nice doctor lady had made him all little, to help him, to fix his boo-boos.  Little boys didn’t know lots of things.  But that was okay, because he had his daddies here and they knew all the big stuff.  That’s why they were in charge.

    Matty stepped up high out of his pants as Daddy Greg directed them off his feet.  Then he sat down on the floor, sat on his bum like a good boy so his socks could be taken off too.  

    “There we go, isn’t that much more comfy?” Daddy Greg asked brightly, grabbing all his old clothes up in a pile.  

    Matty looked down at his pull-ups, the only thing he still wore.  It was nice and warm in the house and the carpet was soft against his skin.  Yes, it did feel nice being free of all those clothes.  He tried to recall why he hadn’t wanted this.  But again, drew a blank.  

    “Uh-huh. Dis comfy,” he agreed, nodding.  

    Daddy Greg chuckled and left with his clothes.  Daddy Jim knelt down next to him, putting a hand on the middle of his bare back.  Oh, it felt nicer to have skin on skin contact.  

    “Now Matty, as soon as you feel the urge to make a pee-pee, or do a poopy, you need to use the potty, okay?  Do you know how to do that?” he asked.  

    Matty frowned. He wasn’t a dumb baby.  He knew how a potty worked!  

    “I sit on it, ‘nd do piddles or poopies,” he announced.  

    Daddy Jim nodded proudly.  “That’s right Matty, you’re going to be so good at using the potty, I can tell!”  

    So much support, such clear love, it made Matty feel wonderful.  

    Then it was play time.  Matty got to explore all the cool toys his new daddies had for him.  They just did their chores, did boring big person work.  Matty played with his blocks, drove his Tonka trucks around the soft carpet.  It was so relaxing, so much fun.  He became utterly engrossed in his imagination as he played.  

    Until he felt the pressure below his tummy.  Uh-oh!  He needed to tinkle.  Matty felt so proud for knowing that.  He felt so smart.  His daddies weren’t there, but he couldn’t wait.  The urge was so sudden, so strong. He couldn’t hold it in long.  But luckily the potty was right there.  Yes, that’s where little boys did tinkles.  

    Matty squatted down on the small plastic potty seat, knees bent sharply.  But he wanted the daddies to see!  They needed to know how good he was at using the potty. He wasn’t a dumb baby.  

    “Daddy Gweg! Daddy Jim!” he called out. “Matty goin’ potty!”  

    And he felt the warmth already. Ah, it was such a relief, getting all that pee-pee out.  It had been impossible to hold back any longer, to wait for the daddies. But that’s okay, he was on the potty seat already.  He’d done good.  

    Greg and Jim arrived to see the twenty-something man squatting there on the little potty seat, a proud grin on his face as the two older men watched him tinkle.  

    “Oh honey,” Jim sighed, shaking his head.  

    Matty was confused.  They didn’t look as happy as he expected.  They shared a look, then Daddy Greg knelt down next to him and said, “You almost did it right Matty.”  

    Now Matty frowned deeply.  What had he done wrong?  He sat on the potty, he called for the grown-ups. 

    “Done my tinkles in da potty,” he insisted.  

    “Matty, you need to take your pull-ups off before you sit down on the potty.  All your tinkles went in the pull-ups sweetie,” Daddy Greg explained.  

    Matty shook his head, but he felt the warmth of his pee all around his crotch.  Yes, it was in the pull-up.  He stood up, looking in the potty.  It was dry.  

    “Bu… bu… Matty know how da potty work!” he insisted, blubbering now.  

    Daddy Greg pulled him swiftly into a cuddle.  It was more soothing now he was mostly undressed, all that skin to skin contact.  

    “It’s okay Matty, it’s perfectly okay.  It’s not your fault.  We took away your big boy smarts.  You’re all simple and sweet for us now.  So it’s perfectly fine to make a few silly mistakes. We expect it.  No one is upset with you,” Daddy Greg comforted him.  

    He was all simple now.  Matty knew he’d been big and smart before.  And now he didn’t even know how to potty.  It was humiliating.  Except Daddy Greg was being so comforting.  It was okay, it wasn’t his fault. They took the smarts away, it was all on them, not Matty.  

    Daddy Jim joined them on the floor.  “I think we should make it a bit easier on him, go right to nakey potty training,” he suggested.  

    Daddy Greg nodded, still patting the young man’s bare back.  “I agree, that will help a lot.”  

    Nakey potty training.  Matty was confused again.  There were just so many things he didn’t know, things he should have understood, but now his fuzzy head just went even blanker when he tried to think, tried to remember stuff.  

    “Was nakey potty twaining?” he asked.  

    Daddy Jim explained, “It just means we take these well pull-ups off and you just spend all your time nakey bummed.  That way when you need to go, there’s nothing else to remember. You just go straight to the potty.”  

    Matty shook his head. He couldn’t be all naked!  That was for dumb babies.  If he was naked everyone would see his wee-wee.  That would be so embarrassing.  

    “It’s okay Matty,” Daddy Jim insisted.  “If you have an accident you’ll just tinkle on the carpet a bit.  And that’s okay, it’s happened many times before. And when you feel your wees rolling down your legs or dribbling on your tootsies, it will remind you to get to the potty. Daddy Greg and I will clean up any messes.”  

    Daddy didn’t understand.  Matty wasn’t worried about the messes.  He just didn’t want to be walking around all naked in front of them.  

    “No Daddy.  Dun wanna hab my wee-wee showin’,” he explained.  

    The daddies shared a look which Matty couldn’t begin to understand.  

    “His shame is buried so deeply,” Daddy Greg remarked.  

    “It clearly goes all the way back to his toddler years,” Daddy Jim assessed.  “We need to take care of that too.”  

    With a nod, Daddy Greg looked back at the frightened young man seated before him.  “Matty, there’s no reason for you to be hiding your wee-wee.  You’re just a little tot, you only have a doodle and you should be comfortable with your body.  So we’re going to help you honey, we’re going to help you be comfy in your own skin.”  

    Matty wished he could understand what daddy meant, but it was so hard to follow his words now, to put them together in his head.  

    Daddy Jim put his hand on Matty’s shoulder.  “Matty it’s time to be our jaybird boy,” he told him.  

    Matty felt funny again, felt all fuzzy and light-headed. 

    “Wha?” he slurred.  

    Daddy Greg nodded in encouragement.  “That’s right Matty. Be our little jaybird now.  Time to be the neighbourhood’s cutest little jaybird.”  

    The warm pull-up felt so tight, so scratchy against his skin.  Matty wanted it off.  Suddenly he wanted his doodle out.  The urge, the need for it to be bouncing free just overwhelmed him.  

    “Wan’ my puw-ups off Daddy!” Matty pleaded.  

    The daddies chuckled.  “Of course honey, it’s all wet and icky now.  Let’s get that dirty old pull-up off you.”  

    Matty dutifully stood up, waiting to be helped, because daddies were in charge of pull-ups, not him, not the silly toddler.  

    Daddy Greg slipped the pull-ups down to his ankles, waited as he stepped out of them.  His wee-wee hung there, free now, soft and dangling between his legs.  Matty couldn’t believe how good it felt, the air on his doodle, the knowledge that his daddies both saw it.  It felt so good to be nude.  

    “Matty all nakey Daddy!” he announced, hopping lightly on his feet, even more delighted when that caused his wee-wee to jiggle and bounce as well.  

    “You sure are Matty, and you’ll be staying nakey until you're done with potty training, okay?” 

    Matty nodded instantly. “Uh-huh. Gonna stay nakey!”  

    Both daddies were smiling, so he knew this was a good thing.  He drew all his cues from them, from his protectors’ expressions, their emotions.  So Matty was soon back on the floor, playing with his toys, but now with his doodle swinging free.  

    A couple hours later Matty felt a new sensation in his tummy.  He was confused by it for a moment, upset at it interrupting his game of matching the animal noise to the right animal.  It took all his concentration for the tricky game.  But now he had this funny feeling.  

    “You okay Matty?” Daddy Jim asked, looking down at him from the couch.  

    Matty scrunched up his face, trying to figure out what the feeling was.  And then it hit him, making his eyes go wide.  

    “Poopy!” Matty announced.  

    “You need to make a poo-poo?” Daddy Jim asked.  

    Matty nodded right away. The feeling was getting stronger, very quickly.  

    “Okay then, what do you need to do?” Daddy Jim prompted.  

    “Potty!” Matty answered.  He felt so smart, knowing where his poopies went.  

    “Good job!” Daddy Jim praised him. “Okay, go sit on your potty then.”  

    Matty felt so confident, so big.  He was going to do it right this time. No icky pull-ups to get in the way since he was all nakey.  Yes, it was so much easier to potty when you’re already a nakey boy.  

    Daddy Greg came into the room just as he sat on the potty.  Matty was glad, he wanted both daddies to see him being such a big boy.  

    “Oh my, is Matty making a poopy on the potty like a big boy?” Daddy Greg asked.  

    “Uh-huh! Imma big boy!” Matty announced, almost hopping on the potty seat.  

    “Good boy! But keep your bum-bum on the seat honey,” Daddy Greg reminded him.  

    Matty nodded. Yes, he was a good boy.  That felt so, so good to hear from his daddies.  

    The urge got so strong, and he pushed in response.  

    Plop.  Plop.  Plop.  

    Matty felt a wonderful sensation of release as he made his poos into the little plastic seat.  Both his daddies were so smiley, so pleased with him.  And when he was all done he got to stand up and look at the mess he’d left there.  

    “Poos in da potty!” he pointed out gleefully, feeling so successful, so big.  

    “What a good job you did!” Daddy Jim praised. 

    “Let’s get your bum-bum clean before you sit anywhere,” Daddy Greg reminded him, pointing to the wall.  

    That’s right, bums needed cleaning after poopies.  Matty hurried to the wall, leaned against it, spread his legs wide apart. It all felt so natural, so instinctual.  And then he felt Daddy Greg running the wet wipes through his butt crack, cleaning it.  He giggled because it tickled.  There was absolutely no sense of shame at letting Daddy clean him though, at doing a naked poo in the potty in front of these two men and then presenting his dirty bottom to them for cleaning.  No, that was their job, that was what daddies did for their little boy.  

    “All clean!” Daddy Greg pronounced. “Now would you like a sticker for your potty chart?”  

    Matty couldn’t have been any more excited.  Stickers were great!  

    “I do it!” he insisted though. 

    “Well of course. You made the poopy in the potty after all,” Daddy Greg agreed, getting the sticker book, letting Matty choose the right one, a basketball, and then helping him to place it on the potty chart on the wall of the playroom.  

    Both daddies gave Matty big cuddles after he finished placing his sticker.  He had no memory of ever feeling so safe, loved and fulfilled all at once.  

    **

    Matty was getting very good at using the potty.  He only had a single accident where he made a puddle on the kitchen floor because he was too excited about having an ice block to notice the urge.  But Daddy Jim had been very understanding because Matty was still learning and accidents happened to all little boys.  

    Things were going so well his daddies announced they were going to the beach and there would be another family there with a boy only a little older than him.  The daddies assured him it would be lots of fun.  

    Matty vaguely recalled not liking the beach, but the memories of why were simply missing, inaccessible in his head. And the feelings were so fuzzy, so distant, that he wasn’t sure if that was even real or something he’d imagined.  He did have such a good imagination.  His daddies told him all the time what a good imaginer he was.  

    When they went to get in the car Matty noticed that his daddies were wearing special t-shirts and shorts for the beach.  But they didn’t put any special shorts on Matty. He was sitting bare bottomed in the backseat as Daddy Jim put his seat belt on him.  

    “I don’t got beach sorts,” Matty pointed out.  He wasn’t upset, just curious.  

    “No sweetie, we’re going to a beach where it’s okay not to have beach shorts.  It’s called a nudist beach.”  

    “Nuditht beach?”  

    “A beach where it’s okay to be nakey.”  

    Matty liked that kind of beach.  But he was still confused.

    “Why you got sorts?” he asked.  

    Daddy Jim chuckled. “You don’t have to be nakey at this beach Matty, it’s just allowed.  Daddy Greg and I feel more comfortable in shorts.  Did you want shorts too?” he asked.  

    Matty didn’t even have to think about it. He instantly shook his head. He didn’t want to wear any clothes if he didn’t have to.  Nakey felt so, so good.  

    “No, I didn’t think so,” Daddy Jim agreed. 

    **

    It was a nudist beach, but most of the people Matty saw when they arrived were wearing some clothes.  A couple old men and a lady were lying in the sand, sunning themselves all nakey, but that was it, except for him.  People looked up as the daddies led him into the sand, leading him by the hand.  For a second that made Matty feel icky, feel all funny, these strangers seeing him nakey, seeing his wee-wee bouncing around as they walked over the beach.  

    But the funny feeling faded away just as quickly as it came on.  He was a jaybird, of course people would see his wee-wee.  It was okay, the daddies were happy with him being nakey like this, so it had to be okay.  And it was so comfy.  

    They headed down the beach, heading straight towards a group of three men sitting on a towel near the water’s edge.  

    “Well hello there!” one of the men called out to them.  

    “This is a nice beach,” Daddy Jim called back.  

    “Told you it was perfect,” the man replied.  

    “Matty, this is Uncle Dan.  And that’s Uncle Pete,” Daddy Jim told Matty, introducing him to the two men.  

    Matty was quiet, he felt so shy with strangers.  Dan and Pete seemed nice though. They were smiling, they looked like daddies.  They both wore beach shorts, same as his daddies, though they didn’t have t-shirts on. Pete had a singlet, Dan was shirtless.  

    “Hi there Matty, welcome to our favourite beach,” Uncle Dan greeted him.  

    “Can you say hi Matty?” Daddy Greg prompted him.  

    Matty shook his head and pulled himself close to Daddy Greg, trying to half hide behind the man. 

    “Matty, it’s okay, they don’t bite.  C’mon honey, be a good boy and say hello.”  

    Matty stepped out and nibbled on his fingers nervously.  

    “Hewwo,” he said. 

    “Well hello to you too.  I see you’re looking very comfy,” Uncle Dan replied.  

    Matty liked the playful tone of his voice.  And he was comfy.  So he nodded, letting himself begin to smile.  

    “Told you a nudist beach would be perfect for him,” Uncle Dan told the daddies.  

    “He certainly seems comfortable with it,” Daddy Jim agreed.  

    “Matty, why don’t you play with Billy here. I’m sure you two will have lots of fun,” Uncle Dan suggested.  

    Matty looked over at the other man.  He wasn’t sitting on the towel with the two uncles.  He was on his hands and knees in the sand in front of them, pushing a plastic toy truck around.  He was the same size as the uncles, but he wasn’t wearing beach shorts like them.  He was naked, like Matty.  

    And Matty understood now, nakey meant little.  This wasn’t a third man, this was a little boy, playing with his toys while his daddies watched.  

    “Billy, why don’t you take Matty to splash in the water for a bit.  But he’s littler than you, so I want you to be in charge and keep an eye on him okay?” Uncle Pete directed the naked man with the toy car.  

    Billy nodded seriously, getting up and walking over the Matty, then reaching out to take his hand.  

    “We’re gonna pway in the water, okay?  C’mon it’s fun!” he urged, pulling Matty’s hand insistently.  

    “Go on Matty, have fun with your new playmate,” Daddy Jim also urged him.  

    So he let Billy lead him away, towards the water.  

    “Look, you gotta jump the waves, like this!” Billy directed, showing him how to sort of hop whenever a little wave was coming.  It made his doodle flop up and down, smacking his tummy.  It was silly and that made Matty smile and giggle as he joined in, trying to copy the other naked man.  

    “Yeah like that!” Billy praised as Matty hopped over a wave.  

    “I jumped it!” Matty announced.  

    Billy giggled.  “Your doodle’s all floppy when you jump.  You a nudist too?”  

    There was that word again.  “Imma jaybiwd,” Matty told the boy.  “Cuz I got all widdle.”  

    Billy nodded. “Uh-huh. Daddy says I’m a little nudist now.  But he said you’re even littler than me.  Do you go to school?”  

    Matty shook his head.  

    Billy smiled proudly.  “I go to school now.  It’s a special school, for big little boys.  The teacher, Miss Susan, is real nice and we play lotsa games.  But we can’t be nudie at school, gotta wear my shirt and shorts and big boy undies.”  

    Matty listened to the big boy in awe.  He felt much too little for school now.  The idea of going to a place without his daddies, with lots of other boys and girls seemed scary.  

    “But my daddies let me get nakey soon as I get home again.  I bet you’re always nakey cuz you’re too little for school.”  

    Matty nodded.  “Matty always nakey,” he agreed.  

    “Yeah you’re real little.  Can you use the potty?”  

    Matty nodded much more vigorously this time. “Uh-huh! Imma big boy. Use potty for poopies ‘n piddles.”  

    Billy just giggled.  “You’re silly,” he declared, hopping a bigger wave.  

    “Why you got widdle?” Matty asked him.  

    Billy looked at him with a distant expression for a moment, no longer hopping waves.  “I dunno,” he admitted after a moment.  “My daddies say I was sad when I was big. Some boys ain’t meant to be big.  We’re better off being little.”  

    “You ‘member gettin’ widdle?”  

    Billy nodded now.  “I had a special sleepy time with the nice lady.  I don’t ‘member her name no more.  Then my daddies said special words and I forgot all my big boy things.  It felt really good.”  

    “When you be big ‘gain?” 

    Billy shook his head. “I dunno,” he shrugged.  Then he looked thoughtful and asked, “You wanna have a cuddle.  My daddies say I’m a real good cuddler.”  

    Matty wanted to know why this other boy was little too and when he’d be getting big again.  But Billy didn’t seem to know and a cuddle sounded wonderful.  

    “Okay,” Matty agreed.  

    Billy stepped closer. They were just at the edge of the water now, the warm little waves only just splashing across their feet, sinking them deep into the soft, mucky sand.  Matty let the other boy close his arms around him and he followed suit.  

    Oh, Billy’s daddies were right.  He was a very good cuddler.  Matty had never felt anything like this before.  Daddies cuddled him and it was wonderful too, but Billy was nakey like him. There was so much more skin to skin contact as a result.  He even felt Billy’s pee-pee brushing against his own.  Wow, that felt so nice, made him so tingly down there.  

    “I like cuddlin’ you,” Matty told his new best buddy.  

    Billy gave him a real squeeze and then even planted a kiss on his cheek, which Matty quickly reciprocated, smooching Billy’s cheek as well.  Of course cuddles needed a kiss too.  

    “Oh, your doodle’s all happy,” Billy suddenly declared.  

    Matty looked down, confused.  His pee-pee was sticking straight out, poking Billy’s. He reached down and poked at it. It was big and hard.  That felt familiar, but also confusing.  

    “You gonna give it tickles?” Billy asked.  

    “Huh?” Matty replied, confused.  

    Billy’s hand reached down and his finger very gently stroked Matty’s penis from bottom to top. He shivered with pleasure and the penis jerked sharply upwards, going fully erect.  

    “You gonna tickle your doodle?” Billy asked again.  

    “Was dat?” Matty questioned.  

    Billy looked shocked.  “You don’t know how?”  

    Matty shook his head.  

    “You gotta tickle it until you get the stickies out.  C’mon!”  

    Billy took his hand again, leading him right back to where all the daddies were sitting together, chatting.  

    “Daddy! Daddy!” Billy shouted.  “Matty’s gotta happy doodle but he don’t know how to tickle it.  C’n I hewp him?” he asked.  

    All four of the daddies began to laugh.  

    “Well it certainly seems like they’ve hit it off,” Uncle Pete declared.  

    “I think it was inevitable,” Daddy Jim told him.  

    The two nudist man-boys stood there waiting, both looking confused by the grown-up talk.  

    Finally Daddy Greg got up and went to Matty.  “Honey have you been enjoying playing with Billy?”  

    Matty nodded instantly.  “We hadda big cuddle.”  

    “Aww, that’s so sweet.  Billy’s a very nice boy, isn’t he?”  

    “I wike Biwwy. He’s snuggly,” Matty agreed. “Daddy, he goes nakey wike me.”

    “I know honey, he’s a jaybird too. But now Billy wants to help make your pee-pee feel really good. He wants to tickle it.  Would you like that Matty? It’s up to you if you want Billy to touch your pee-pee or not.”  

    Matty thought about the wave of pleasure when Billy touched him there before. Of course he wanted Billy to do that again!  

    “Yeth Daddy!” Matty chirped.  

    All the daddies laughed together again.  

    “Okay sweetie, you two can play then,” Daddy Greg told him.  

    But Uncle Dan said, “Billy, remember the rule about your doodle.”  

    “No touching in public,” Billy recited.  

    “That’s right, and it’s the same for other boys’ doodles.  And remember, you only touch if they say it’s okay.”    

    Billy nodded again.  

    “Okay, so why don’t you take Matty into the bush walk. It’s private in there.”  

    Billy didn’t need telling twice. He grabbed Matty’s hand again and led him away from the water, back across the beach towards the trees.  They passed by other groups on their beach blankets. People couldn’t help but stare at the two nudist men holding hands, one being led by the other. Or perhaps it was the pulsing erection Matty now sported that drew the looks.  It waggled about like a metronome after all.  But either way Matty was now oblivious.  He was only thinking about the tickles he was about to get from his newest and best buddy.  

    Soon they were off the beach and Matty felt the cool, hard soil, the pebbles and dirt under the soles of his bare feet as they made their way into the bush.  What an amazing combination of sensations.  

    Billy stopped suddenly, looking around.  

    “Okay, we can do it now,” he announced.  

    “Wad we do?” Matty asked.  

    “Give your doodle tickles, so it gets the stickies out!” Billy reminded him.  

    Billy’s fingers were on his pee-pee right away.  Matty grunted involuntarily.  It felt so incredible. Billy knew just how to make him feel good, make him feel blissful.  He breathed faster and faster as Billy’s expert fingers worked his stiffy.  It felt so good to be able to share this pleasure with his friend, to have no concerns at all about who might see them, to worry about being naked on a bush path with another nudist man.  He just thought about how good it all felt, about what was still to come.  

    Matty’s toes curled into the soft dirt, his body leaned closer to Billy’s as his muscles spasmed, his back arched and he moaned out loud.  Cum erupted from his pee-pee, splashing across his skin and Billy’s too.  It was gooey, it was warm, it felt amazing.  

    “There you go, get it all out,” Billy cooed to him, clearly enjoying being the big boy, being the helper for this helpless toddler man.  

    When it was all over, when the ground and Billy’s skin and Matty’s tummy and thighs and toes were all smeared with his release, Billy took his hand once again.  

    “Now we gotta go clean it off, go splash in the water,” he instructed.  

    And so they were soon trooping back across the beach.  There was no missing Matty’s erection now flagging to half-mast, the shining streaks of liquid visible on his body.  Anyone who glanced at them knew what had happened.  But Matty wasn’t paying any attention to the eyes on him.  He just felt sated, felt totally secure with his new friend.  

    They splashed about in the water for ten minutes after that, emerging nice and clean, no more evidence of what happened in the bush.  Matty had a small jiggly pee-pee again and was happy to play in the sand with Billy while the adults watched.  

    **

    One.  Two.  Three.  Wide awake, refreshed and alert.

    Matt could feel his chin resting on his chest as his eyes fluttered open.  He could feel the alertness, the clarity in his head right away.  He was back in Dr Jansen’s office.  She was sitting across from him, smiling pleasantly, but also looking closely at him, watching his reactions.  

    Matt wasn’t alone in her office this time though.  His daddies, the men who had been caring for him, were sat on the couch with him, one on either side.  Matt became aware of the feeling of the couch against his back.  He wasn’t wearing a shirt.  He was sitting there, cross-legged on the couch, wearing these black and grey board shorts, but nothing else.  

    He noticed his bare feet, crossed in front of him.  He could see the grime in his toe-nails.  He turned his right foot up, looking at the sole.  It was so dirty, coated in a layer of brown dust, but deeper black below that.  He poked at his heel, feeling the thick, callused skin.  

    “It’s natural for your feet to get tougher, when you go barefoot all the time,” Greg volunteered.  

    Yes, he had been barefoot all the time, for the last two weeks.  The memories were all there, fresh in his mind, and now with new meaning.  He understood so much more of what had happened.  All the times they went to the supermarket, he was dressed in nothing but shorts, just like now.  Sometimes he had run around making a scene, demanding some stupid treat, getting stared at by everyone else in the store.  Other times he had actually sat in the trolley, pressing those filthy bare soles against the wire mesh, letting everyone see what a messy dumbed down little kid he was.  

    But there was so many worse memories than that.  The trip to the nudist beach stood out of course.  But also when Billy had come over for a playdate a week later.  His best buddy had arrived in his birthday suit.  They’d shared a bath together.  They’d played and cuddled and even taken a nap in the same bed, snuggled together, a tangle of bare flesh.  

    Dr Jansen put her hand on his knee.  “Welcome back Matt.  How are you feeling?”  

    He was shivering with shame, feeling more exposed and awkward by the second.  “I feel freaking awful!” he snapped.  “I… I was naked, in front of people, in front of strangers!”  

    “And you were happy,” Jansen pointed out. “It wasn’t the end of the world after all.  You’ve been naked in front of dozens of strangers this past week.  You’ve done all your toilet trips with spectators.  And yet no one got angry at you, no one hurt you.  You have been kept loved and happy.”  

    He saw her point, but that didn’t really matter to him.  He didn’t feel any more comfortable with what had happened now.  He didn’t feel any less ashamed of his body than before.  And now he had all these horrible memories too!  

    Matt’s breathing sped up to the point of hyperventilation.  He was visibly shaking.  

    “It didn’t work at all!” he shouted.  

    “It’s okay buddy,” Greg tried to sooth him, patting his back.  

    “You just need to calm yourself down,” Jim said, stroking his arm.  

    “No!” he snapped, wanting to pull away from them, but also wanting to cover up at the same time.  “You don’t understand how I feel.  This was my last chance and it just made everything worse!”  

    “Matt, you’ve only just woken up, you can’t say it’s a failure that quickly,” Jansen cautioned.  

    “I feel so exposed right now.  Why didn’t you dress me normally before waking me up?!” he demanded.  

    “With past patients I have found they often fully embrace the modesty reduction, they become something of the opposite of how they were.  So even after the therapy they prefer being barefoot and even shirtless in their daily life,” she explained.  

    “Well I sure as hell don’t feel that way!” Matt snapped, feeling even more horrified that that could have happened to him.  

    It was clear Matt was on the verge of a massive panic attack.  He was hugging his legs, curling his body forward, trying to hide his exposed skin.  Jansen shook her head sadly, reaching out to Matt’s shoulder.  He jerked away, but she kept a hold of it.  

    “I’m sorry that the treatment hasn’t been effective for you Matt.  But I can’t let you leave in this state.  So let me help you one more time.  Drop deep for me.  Nice and deep now Matt.”

    It was actually a relief to have all the panic, all the tension and anger and fear just drain so quickly away.  His muscles relaxed, his eyes got so heavy and Matt couldn’t resist the urge to drift off into a deep sleep.  

    **

    Opening your eyes now, alert but calm. Awake but feeling peaceful and clear.

    Matt opened his eyes to find he was still sitting in the office on the couch between his former daddies.  Jansen was still seated before him, looking more serious than before though.  What had changed was that he could feel the couch not just on his back, but under his bottom.  Matt’s shorts and undies were piled by the door.  He was now completely naked.  

    He felt a little flicker of panic, but then remembered he was calm now, he was peaceful.  But still, he didn’t like this, being even more naked than before.  

    “Why am I naked again?” he asked, though not in a panicked gasp as before.  

    “You need to make a choice for us Matt,” the doctor explained.  “Go ahead and look at your penis,” she told him.  

    It stung even to have her mention his private parts.  But he did look down, feeling even more humiliated when he saw the pulsing erection he was sporting.  His rock hard cock was standing straight up, the head all red and engorged.  

    “Why is it like that?” he asked. 

    “I’m offering you the chance for a final treatment.  I’ve only given it to a couple patients before, but I believe it is warranted in your case.”  

    “What treatment?” Matt asked, both curious and nervous.  

    “A final, permanent release from all your worries and hang-ups.  There would be no more modesty issues, no more trouble peeing, I can guarantee it.  But that would happen by cleaning out all your complex thoughts, all the grown-up ideas in your head.  It’s the treatment I gave to Billy.”  

    “Billy’s a little boy in a big body,” Matt noted. 

    “Exactly,” the doctor agreed.  

    “And he’s… he’s a nudist,” Matt whispered. 

    Another nod.  “He is.  As I said, all the modesty would be gone, for good.”  

    “For good?”  

    “You’re very lucky Matt, because your daddies here are happy for me to give you this treatment.  They’d like to take you back home with them, but as their boy, not their guest.  I have an attorney I work with, you would be declared legally incompetent, with your daddies as your new legal guardians.”

    The idea of being utterly dependent on them, of it being forever, it was terrifying.  But he remained calm, he felt peaceful.  

    “But it’s your choice Matt,” she told him.  “You can go get your shorts and undies and walk out the door and never look back.  But that will be the end of your treatment. You’ll just need to accept your life as it is.”  

    As much as Matt wanted to run away, the thought of going back to his old life was just as unpleasant.  The panic attacks, the paranoia, the inability to even pee without a massive struggle was paralysing.  It was a miserable existence.  

    “Or you can use your magic finger, to make all the worries go away.”  

    His magic finger.  Yes, that’s right, he recalled her telling him how his finger was magic, how it could do incredible things simply with a touch.  

    Now she held his hand, palm up, again.  “Just tap your finger to your head and you’ll have the most wonderful, instant, hands-free orgasm.  And all those grown-up thoughts and fears will shoot out of your stiffy and be gone forever.”

    Greg gave his shoulders a squeeze.  “It’s your choice buddy, but Daddy Jim and I would love to bring you back home today.”  

    “I know it’s a tough choice, so take your time.  Once you use your magic finger all your anxiety will be gone, but there will be no taking it back,” Jansen counselled.

    Jim leaned close in, whispering, “We’ll take such good care of you Matty.  Don’t be afraid to let go.”  

    It seemed ridiculous on its face.  How could he ever choose that life.  And yet… going back to his shell of a life seemed just as impossible.  And the daddies were so nice to him.  His memories were embarrassing, but also filled with so much fun and love.  He hadn’t been embarrassed then either, because he was just a dumbed down toddler.  

    Matt shook his head.  “I… I just can’t choose either,” he sulked.  

    Then he felt Jim taking his right hand, folding over his fingers, except for the index finger.  Jim held that one out, began lifting his hand.  

    “What are you doing?” 

    Jim smiled kindly.  “It’s okay Matty, let Daddy help,” he cooed.  

    Matt watched as the man lifted his hand higher, gently guiding it towards his head.  Greg and Dr Jansen simply watched.  Matt leaned his head back until it bumped into Greg’s shoulder.  But he didn’t push back, he couldn’t bring himself to yank his hand away.  

    His finger touched his right temple.  He felt the digit make contact.  Jesus, it had actually happened!  He’d let Jim do it, which was really the same as doing it himself.  

    Matt felt the pleasure jolt through his body from his temple through his skull and down to his penis.  

    “Ohh!” he gasped, shivering with pleasure.  

    Jansen and Greg were nodding now.  

    “That’s it Matt, let that lovely orgasm roll through you now, feel those balls emptying out all the big boy things in your head,” the doctor urged.  

    Matt didn’t feel calm anymore.  It seemed like that command had been turned off at last.  Instead he felt horrified.  He’d just sat there and let them touch his finger to his head.  He should have fought with everything he had.  

    He shook his head, he tried to hold it in, but the orgasm was too strong.  No, he didn’t want them all to see it!  This was the most private act of all!  And Jansen and the daddies were staring right at him!  

    “Ugh!” he grunted as the first big spurt of creamies shot out of his penis and splashed across his chest.  

    “There we go, good boy!” Greg cheered.  

    More spurts followed in quick succession. Matt could feel their eyes on him. It was so shameful, but he couldn’t stop it.  And with each spasm, with each spurt, he felt less and less able to focus his mind.  

    He was just along for the ride, leaning forward on the couch, face contorted with pleasure, eyes half-closed as his stiff penis sent rope after rope of cum onto the floor, onto his knees and feet.  Jim and Greg were both patting his back, urging him on.  

    Finally the squirts slowed down and came to a stop.  Matty sat back on the couch, catching his breath.  He looked down at his softening penis, then up at all the eyes staring so intently at him, at the show he’d just given them.  But there was no feeling of shame, no embarrassment.  It just felt so good, having these eyes on him, being the centre of attention.  They were all so happy with what he’d just done.  That made him feel good too.  

    It was an incredible relief.  All the worries really were gone!  Matty didn’t care that he was still naked on the couch now.  How delightful!  

    He looked down at his feet again. They were dirty, they were icky feet.  He grabbed one and brought the wiggling toes to his mouth, wondering what the black stuff tasted like.  Oh, they were salty.  It felt good nibbling on them.  

    Dr Jansen shared a pleased look with Jim and Greg as they watched Matty recover from his orgasm.  They couldn’t help but smile as the dazed looking man began to examine his toes and then quickly slipped them into his lips, leaning back on the couch and sucking on them, cross-eyed with curiosity.  

    “Sorry, I just wasn’t sure he would be able to make the choice himself,” Greg apologised.  “I hope he’s happy with it.  I just thought it would be for the best.”  

    Jansen waved her hand dismissively. “Oh Greg, his finger wasn’t actually magic of course. Nothing would have happened when you touched it to his temple unless he wanted it to work.  You just helped him give permission to himself to let go.  

    “And it only could have worked as much as he wanted it to.  But look at that boy munching his tootsies. He wanted this so much.  He wanted to be very, very little indeed.”  

    She leaned close to the toe-sucking young man and said in the brightest, most condescending voice, “Did you make creamies for us Matty? Did you do big stickies for your daddies?”  

    Matty let his toes pop clear of his mouth.  

    “Uh-huh. Done cweamies,” he agreed.  

    “And I think you liked doing them for us all to see, didn’t you baby?”  

    Matty considered this and then realised the nice lady was right.  It felt so good showing his daddies what he could do.  He wanted them to see everything he did after all.  

    “Yeth!” he agreed.  

    “I think you’re just like your buddy Billy now.  You’re going to be a nudist, a little show off.”  

    Billy was his friend.  Yes, Matty really liked Billy.  And Billy was bigger than him. He looked up to Billy, so of course he wanted to be just like him.  That made perfect sense in his simplified little head.  

    “Be wike Biwwy,” Matty agreed.  

    Dr Jansen nodded and looked back at the daddies now.  “Well, he’s all yours.  I’ll make arrangements with the lawyer to get things squared away, but take him home for now, help get him settled in.”  

    “Could you put us in touch with that adult daycare centre as well?” Jim asked her. 

    “Of course.”  

    Matty wasn’t listening to the grown-ups anymore.  He’d been one of them until a few moments ago, he still knew that.  But he was equally certain that he was all little now.  He felt tiny, he felt smaller than anyone else here.  His head was a fuzzy mess.  He’d felt all the big boy smarts squirting out of him. It was a real physical sensation, his brain being scrubbed clean.  He was certain what had just happened was physical and real and permanent.  His smarts were all over his tummy now.  He could touch them, could feel them.  But they had gone bye-byes and weren’t coming back.  Thank goodness he had Daddy Jim and Daddy Greg to keep him safe.  

    **

    It had been over two months since Jack and Erica had last seen their flatmate, Matt.  It wasn’t like they saw all that much of him before that either though.  He had kept to himself, stayed in his room most of the time.  He was an odd guy, they understood that.  

    But then he told them he was going to be away on a trip for two weeks, and that had seemed quite unusual.  Matt wasn’t a social guy at all.  What kind of trip would he be taking?  

    So it had been less surprising when Dr Jansen had contacted them, explaining that Matt had actually been at an in-patient treatment centre.  She couldn’t go into what he’d been treated for of course, confidentiality and all that.  But she did explain sadly that Matt had suffered a complete breakdown at the treatment centre and that for the foreseeable future he would be unable to live independently.  The therapist sent over some men to collect Matt’s belongings and they had to advertise for a new flatmate.  And for a few weeks that seemed like it would the last they heard of Matt.  

    Except Dr Jansen contacted them again a couple days ago.  She explained that she wanted to re-introduce Matt to all the important people in his life.  Jack was less than eager to take part, especially after the therapist explained the extent of Matt’s breakdown.  The poor guy had totally lost his intellectual faculties.  He had the behaviour, intelligence and maturity of a toddler and needed round the clock care and supervision.  Jack had no interest in seeing their old flatmate like that.  But Erica had assured the doctor they would love to help out.  

    “Why would you tell her that?!  I don’t want to see Matt toddling around, drooling all over himself, maybe even wearing a fucking diaper,” he had snapped after she got off the phone.  

    “Stop being so selfish,” she had chided him.  “He was our flatmate for over a year. You know I always tried my best to get him out of that shell of his, make him a part of the flat.  I’m not going to turn my back on him now, when he needs support more than ever.”  

    So they found themselves heading to Matt’s new house for a barbeque.  There were a few cars parked on the street out front and a balloon tied to the mailbox announced that the party was here.  The man who answered the door introduced himself as Jim.  

    “So how did you know Matty?” he asked them as they stepped inside.  

    “We were his flatmates,” Erica answered.  Both she and Jack noted the use of the childish form of Matt’s name.  

    “Ah lovely.  Well I’m so glad you could be here to support Matty in this new phase of his life.  We didn’t want to see him cut off from his family and friends, hidden away as some kind of embarrassment,” Jim explained.  

    “No, of course not,” Erica agreed. “Mental illness shouldn’t be a stigma anymore.”  

    “Exactly.  But I do want to prepare you.  I believe Dr Jansen has explained to you that Matty had a mental collapse.”  

    “She didn’t quite put it that way, but yeah, we heard,” Jack answered.  

    “Well Matty essentially rejected everything about his old identity.  His keen intellect, his reserved nature, his extreme modesty, all of that went out the window.  Now Matty’s a wild, messy, playful toddler in a grown-up body.  So you need to be prepared for that, when you see him,” Jim explained.  

    Jack didn’t like the sound of that at all, but Erica squeezed his hand and smiled for both of them.  “We’ll be very kind to him, no matter how he looks.”  

    “Lovely.  Well, let’s head out back then.”  

    They followed Jim through the house.  

    “Erica, look,” Jack whispered to her as they entered the kitchen.  

    All the cabinets had child-proof locks on them.  Indecipherable crayon drawings adorned the fridge.  

    The rest of the guests were in the yard.  A dozen men and women, chatting cheerfully while another one of the hosts stood at the grill, wearing an apron and holding a beer.  

    But Jack and Erica weren’t looking at them.  Their eyes immediately fell on Matty as he rushed across the grassy backyard straight towards them.  He was completely naked, his hairless penis and balls bouncing around in plain view.  

    “Oh my God!” Jack whispered to Erica.  

    Even she was too shocked to speak.  

    Matty went straight up to Jim, grabbing his arm and yanking at it.  

    “Daddy, I wanna swing!” he urged, totally ignoring his old flatmates seeing him like this.  

    “Okay honey, you can swing,” Jim told him kindly.  

    “No! You gotta push daddy! I’m too widdle,” Matty insisted, pouting and yanking at Jim’s arm.  

    His diction was utterly juvenile, but it was still his appearance that most stunned Jack.  Matt had always been so pale and sickly looking. Now, his face was fuller looking, healthier.  The normal tension and worry were totally absent, he appeared utterly relaxed.  His skin wasn’t pale either.  He was tanned now, and it wasn’t a farmer’s tan.  There were no lines.  His feet, his tummy, even his bottom all looked equally tanned.  

    “I’ll give you a push in a second buddy. But first, can you say hello to Erica and Jack?  You remember them, don’t you Matty?”  

    Jack felt even more uncomfortable as Matty looked right at them.  His face was so slack, his features utterly transformed.  But then he did something even stranger.  He smiled.  In a year of living with him, Jack could never recall Matt smiling.  But now he grew this big, innocent grin.  

    “Uh-huh!” he agreed brightly.  “I knowed ‘em when I big!”  

    Jim was encouraging.  “That’s right Matty, they were your flatmates.  That’s what it’s called when grown-ups live together,” he explained.  

    Matty nodded.  “Notta gwown-up now,” he told them seriously.  “Matty widdle. Dis my daddy.”  

    Erica at least managed to smile back now, nodding.  “Oh… yes, Matty, we’ve met your… um… daddy.  Are you… um… comfy like this?” she asked, looking his body up and down.  

    Matty looked down at his feet, then back up, clearly confused.  

    Jim chuckled.  “Matty, she means are you comfy being all nakey?” he explained to the vacant-eyed man.  

    Matty understood now.  “Yeff! Nakey feews nice,” he assured, grinning again.  

    “Okay, I better take him over for a swing before he makes a scene.  Toddlers aren’t known for their patience.  You go grab a sausage okay,” Jim told them, letting Matty lead him off to the swingset.  

    The former flatmates got their sausages, eating them in shock, still unable to stop glancing at the naked man now sitting on a child’s swing, being pushed by Jim.  He squealed and screeched in glee, showing off that the bare soles of his feet were black with dirt as he swung them out.  

    “Poor Matty,” Erica said.  

    “It’s pretty shocking, but I dunno, maybe he is better off now,” Jack mused.  

    Erica looked horrified and gave his arm a slap.  “How can you say that?”  

    “Sorry, but he’s a lot healthier looking now and I’ve never seen him so relaxed and happy have you?”  

    Erica looked ready to retort, but she couldn’t deny those facts.  So she ate her sausage instead.  

    Matty soon tired of the swings.  Jim re-joined the adults while the sole nudist crept around in the grass on his hands and knees, pushing a bright orange toy dump truck, guiding it between the guests’ feet.  He appeared utterly oblivious as he weaved between his former friends, colleagues and flatmates, showing everyone his big, tanned, bare bottom.  

    The other guests seemed to have similar conflicting feelings.  Jack and Erica heard people commenting on Matty’s happy expression, his seeming release from all his past anxieties.  But also voicing their pity at his reduced mental abilities, their discomfort with his apparent embrace of nudity.  

    Jim had just come back over to them, to check on their drinks when Matty stood up, abandoning his toy and rushing over to them.  

    “Well here comes the guest of honour again.  And what can we get you buddy?” Jim asked.  

    “Gotta do tinkles! Gonna do ‘em in da potty.  Wike Biwwy!”  Matty announced at full volume.  

    “Billy’s a special boy, like Matty, but a bit older, if you understand what I mean.  He follows him around like a lost puppy when he comes to play, wants to be just like his big boy friend,” Jim explained to them.  

    Matty grabbed his penis with his right hand, starting to hop from foot to foot.  “Daddy! Need da potty!” he urged.  

    “Okay honey, let’s go to your potty,” Jim told him, taking his hand.  

    But now Matty held back.  

    “Wan’ Ewica ‘nd Jack to come too Daddy! I wanna show ‘em,” he urged.  

    Jim nodded.  “I’m sorry, but he loves showing grown-ups how he can use the potty, like a big boy.  Would you mind coming with us?” he asked, clearly aware of how awkward it would be for them, but pleading nonetheless.  

    “Um.. yeah, okay,” Erica answered for the both of them.  

    Jack wasn’t happy at all, but felt unable to refuse now.  So they all headed inside.  Matty’s potty seat turned out to be a small blue and yellow plastic potty that was right in the middle of the living room.  

    As Erica and Jack stood there watching, Matty dropping onto the potty, carefully tucking his penis under the plastic rim and waiting, his knees bent sharply upwards, glassy eyes scanning the wall until the sound of liquid splashing against plastic filled the room.  

    Matty smiled and looked right at Jack and Erica.  

    “Doin’ my tinkles,” he announced to them.  

    Erica tried her best to be encouraging.  “You sure are Matty.  What a big boy you are,” she praised.  

    Jack said nothing, just gave the man a jerking nod.  

    When he was done, Matty stood back up, but that was when things got even more embarrassing.  Jack hadn’t thought such a thing even possible, but there it was.  When Matty stood it revealed his penis was growing erect, jerking upward as he stood there, the final drops of urine still dribbling down the shaft as he nibbled on two fingers, waiting for his daddy to clean him up.  

    “Oh… oh my…” Erica muttered.  

    “Jesus,” Jack gasped under his breath.  

    But Matty didn’t make any attempt to hide his newest shame.  Instead he saw his erect penis and reached down for it, taking it in his hand and beginning to pump up and down while looking right at them.  

    “Oh dear!” Erica gasped, covering her mouth as they watch Matty begin to masturbate.  

    “Hold on there Matty,” Jim quickly intervened.  “What’s the rule when we have guests in the house?” he asked.  

    Matty’s hand stopped pumping. 

    “No touchin’ pee-pee,” the grown toddler answered, letting his penis go.  

    “Good boy.  I know it was very exciting, showing your grown-up friends how you can use the potty.  You were very good for them.  Now, let’s go back outside to play, okay?”  

    Matty nodded, toddling back out of the living room, back to his toys outside.  

    Erica and Jack just shared a stunned look with each other, then headed back to join the rest of the guests.  

    **

    Matty’s doodle was still all big and happy as he played with his cars.  He’d made tinkles on the potty while his former flatmates watched.  It felt so good, being able to have that release in front of them.  No need for privacy, not an inkling of shame.  Matty had the fuzziest, vaguest memory of having trouble doing his tinkles when he was big.  Now it was so easy, and it felt so wonderful to have an audience for it.  That’s why his doodle got big afterwards.  

    He wanted to make stickies, but touching his doodle was a no-no when they had guests over.  That was a very important rule.  Daddy Jim and Daddy Greg both said so.  There were a lot of guests today, for a barbeque.  Daddy Jim said that’s when people cook outside and eat sausages and burgers.  It’s a funny word, barbeque.  Matty tries his best, but he can’t say it.  Big words like that are tricky for little boys.  

    Matty knows all the guests.  They were people he knew when he was big, before his special release when he squirted out all his smarts.  They’re all still big though.  Only Matty lost the big boy thoughts.  All the guests are wearing clothes, talking about big grown-up things, stuff Matty can’t understand anymore.  He’s happier playing with his toys. 

    That’s okay, it feels just as good to play with his toys while they watch.  He sees them looking at him while he plays and that makes him happy.  It’s so nice to get grown-ups’ attention.  A lot of them asked him about being nakey too.  They don’t know how good it feels.  Is there anything better than feeling the grass and dirt on his skin when he plays? Or the way his doodle bounces around all free when he walks and runs?  Grown-ups aren’t allowed to be nakey.  They don’t know how much fun it is.  

    “Hey, what you playing with?” asks a familiar voice.  

    Matty grins ear to ear.  It’s Billy!  His best buddy is at the barbeque too.  

    “Got caws.  Wanna pway?” he asks eagerly.  

    “Uh-huh!” Bill answers instantly.  

    Of course he wants to play cars. Billy’s bigger, but he’s still little.  He’s not a grown-up, so he won’t be standing around talking and eating with them.  Billy has a grown-up body, just like Matty.  But everyone knows he’s little, cuz he’s naked too.  

    For a minute they play side by side, making car noises, smashing them together, giggling at their silliness.  Then Billy notices something.  

    “Matty, your doodle’s all big!”  

    He nods.  “I did tinkles in da potty ‘nd the grown-ups watched.”  

    Billy giggles.  “Aren’t you gonna make stickies then?”  

    Matty shakes his head. “No touchin’ my pee-pee. Got guests.”  

    “Oh,” Billy says with a frown.  “Well, can I touch it?” he asked.

    Matty didn’t understand the rule his daddies gave him.  He couldn’t begin to comprehend the logic behind it.  He followed the rule because he was a good boy and did what his daddies said.  But they never said Billy couldn’t touch his pee-pee.  So that had to be okay.  

    “Uh-huh,” Matty agreed.  

    Billy reached right over and his fingers felt delightful on Matty’s stiff penis.  Billy was so big and smart.  He was an expert on this.  He knew just how to make Matty feel perfect, feel utter bliss.  And Matty was already so excited, seeing all his old friends, showing them how he pottied.  It didn’t take much to get him right to the edge.  

    But then the funny thing happened.  It happened every time he was on the edge of an orgasm.  His grown-up thoughts seemed to wake up a bit, float to the front of his mind.  Sometimes he would edge for several minutes, able to think and reason, aware of his situation as long as he stayed right at the edge.  But it was impossible to maintain that for longer than a few minutes.  

    It was happening now though.  As he approached the edge he felt a mental clarity and awareness spread through his head.  He realised he was standing there naked in the backyard, facing the whole barbeque.  All of his former friends, colleagues and his flatmates were all there.  And they had all stopped eating and chatting.  They were transfixed, watching this other nudist intellectually impaired man jerking Matty off.  

    Some of their faces showed shock and horror.  His former colleague Brian appeared to be laughing. Others were trying to look away.  

    Daddy Jim started to move out of the crowd, to intervene.  But Daddy Greg stopped him, grabbing his wrist and shaking his head.  “The damage is done, let them finish,” he said.  “You know how exciting this all must be for him. He needs the release. And I think he needs them to see this too, even more than the tinkles in the potty.”  

    Matt felt fully clear again.  He understood all the expressions, he understood every word Greg had just said.  He could have tried to explain how this had happened, he could have called out and told them all to look away.  Or he at least could have told Billy to stop jerking him off in front of everyone.  

    But any of that would have made it even more embarrassing, because then they’d know he was aware, that he was at this moment a grown man, naked in front of them all.  There was no coming back from this, they’d all seen his utter reduction.  He was beyond ashamed.  And the only tiny comfort was that they didn’t blame him at all, because they all saw him as a giant toddler. They thought he simply didn’t know any better.  He was blameless, he was innocent.  

    They couldn’t know he was aware.  So he didn’t stop Billy.  He let those wonderful fingers continue to caress, continue to stroke.  It only took seconds before the process was involuntary.  His back tightened and arched and he knew what everyone was about to see him do.  The most private of acts possible, in front of them all.  

    Matty closed his eyes tight, groaned and shot his load all over the grass and Billy’s hand.  Everyone watched, some covering their eyes, others drinking the shocking sight in.  It was like a car accident, they couldn’t look away.  

    When it was done Jim went over to clean the boys up.  Matty sat down, bare-bummed on the soft grass, watching Daddy clean his sticky tummy up.  Everyone was still looking at him.  They’d seen him do the stickies and that made Matty feel so good!  Stickies were such a big boy thing to make.  And they saw Matty could still do them, even though he was all little now.  Yes, they must all be so impressed by him.  

    Feeling utterly sated and very proud, Matty was content to sit in the grass with his best buddy Billy, playing with his toes while the grown-ups got on with their conversations again.  Sometimes the grown-ups still looked at him, watched him exploring his toesies with his mouth, watched him rolling in the grass wrestling with his best buddy.  He liked when they looked at him.  It was nice having grown-up’s attention.  Little Matty was free to play without a worry in the world. 

    The End

    The Look

    Based on a story idea from musclelover4826

    It was unexpected when Adam messaged me.  I hadn’t heard from him in a few months.  We had been good friends for years, but then he moved a few suburbs over, got a new job that ate up all his time and gradually we had hung out less and less.  So it was welcome to see that he had messaged me.  

    When I read the message though, it wasn’t had also probably been his best friend for the longest time. He must not have anyone else to turn to.  

    That’s amazing mate!  I’m not sure I’m very good with kids, but if you really need the support, of course I’ll do what I can

    It was the best I could do.  I mean, I didn’t want to say no, but I also didn’t want to be too enthusiastic.  

    The bubble appeared showing he was typing a reply right away.  

    Thanks dude!  I know kids have never been your thing, so this really would mean the world to me.  How about we meet at Harold’s tomorrow around noon, talk things over?  

    Damn, he must really be that desperate.  Well I couldn’t refuse, what kind of friend would do that?  

    Cool, see you then!  

    **

    Harold’s was a cafe Adam and I used to have lunch at pretty often.  But it had been nearly a year since I’d last been there.  I hoped it would be like old times, but I knew that was impossible now.  I had so many questions.  How did he end up adopting, how old was the kid, how did he manage the expenses?  

    Adam looked pretty much the same as always when I spotted him sitting at a table toward the far side of the cafe.  He was thirty-two, thin with a receding hairline.  He used to wear glasses, but he’d had that laser surgery a few years back.  He wasn’t as well groomed or dressed as he could have been.  I took a lot of pride in my appearance, spent time getting my hair and outfit right each morning.  Adam often looked like he just threw on whatever was cleanest.  

    Today he was in a t-shirt and track pants, his standard attire when he wasn’t at work.  I never said anything about it anymore. 

    “Sam! Great to see you!” he greeted me, rising from the table to shake hands and then give a quick man-hug.  

    “I’ve missed hanging out,” I told him.  “I thought you were just busy with work, so I didn’t try to push you.  I had no idea your life had got so complicated.  Sorry I didn’t stay in touch.”  

    “No worries mate, I’m the one who should have been keeping you in the loop,” he told me.  “Anyway, the adoption was very sudden.”

    “I guess it must have been.  You never talked about wanting a kid,” I said.  

    “Well it was an unusual circumstance.  My little boy, he isn’t actually little, physically I mean.”  

    I was confused and it showed on my face.  

    “I mean he’s a little boy on the inside, up here,” he explained, tapping his temple.  “But on the outside, he’s big.”  

    “So you adopted an intellectually impaired adult?” I asked.  

    “Essentially yeah.”  

    Now I really didn’t know what to think.  

    “I didn’t even know that was possible.”  

    “Well technically I’m his legal guardian, his power of attorney.  It’s an alternative to putting him into an institution, some heartless bureaucracy,” he explained.  

    “How did this happen?” I asked, utterly baffled.  

    “Mikey was a co-worker of mine.  He was a really smart guy, really friendly, but kind of kept to himself.  He didn’t have a partner, he was estranged from his family.  And then there was an incident, and he was left profoundly impaired.  With no family, he’d have been stuck in some institution and I couldn’t let that happen… so, I adopted him,” Adam explained.  

    Oh Adam, poor bleeding heart Adam.  Of course he’d done it.  He’d never talked about kids, but he was the caring type.  

    “That’s incredible Adam, I really have to take my hat off to you.”  

    “It’s been wonderful, really.  He’s still big on the outside, but he’s really just a sweet, silly little boy now and I’ve found it so rewarding being his daddy.  That’s what he calls me you see.  It’s easier that way. We don’t ever mention his old family, who just abandoned him.

    “But it is very draining to be daddy all the time, twenty-four seven.  And I was hoping to have a night a week off.  The problem is that no babysitter will watch a boy like mine.  So I was wondering if you’d do it for twenty dollars an hour, once a week?”  

    Every week was way more than I had expected.  But I also hadn’t expected to be offered money to help my friend.  I was saving up to buy a house and every bit helped.  But watching a grown-up man who behaved like a child?  I wasn’t sure I could handle it either.  But again, I felt obligated to at least try.  

    “I’d love to help, Adam,” I told him.  “When were you thinking?”  

    Adam looked overjoyed.  

    “Thanks so much Sam!” he gushed.  “Well, I was thinking Tuesday nights, so I could do pub quiz.”   

    “Tuesdays would work for me,” I agreed.  

    “Perfect! Now, you should probably meet Mikey,” Adam went on.  

    “Sounds good.  You want me to meet him before Tuesday then?”  

    Adam laughed. “No silly, I meant right now.”  

    He gestured over my right shoulder and I looked over where he was gazing.  Harold’s had a small area for little kids to play while their parents ate.  It was just some basic toys, but it kept the little tots entertained.  

    But right now it wasn’t a tiny tot playing there, it was a grown man.  Mikey appeared to be mid-twenties, average build, with messy light brown hair.  He was down on the floor on his hands and knees, playing with a toy tractor.  His t-shirt featured a cartoon raccoon and the words Daddy’s Little Rascal.  He had a pair of bright blue board shorts on as well, but he was barefoot and looking around I didn’t see any discarded pairs of shoes or sandals either in the play area or under our table.  

    “Mikey! Come over here honey!” Adam called to him.  

    I blushed at the attention being drawn to this grown man playing with little kid toys.  Other cafe customers looked of course.  Eyes widened as others noticed the oversized tyke.  Some looked disgusted, others filled with pity.  

    Mikey shoved his toy tractor along the floor, running towards us hunched over as he pushed it along until it rammed into the empty chair next to mine.  

    The barefooted man giggled and then looked up at us.  I could see the innocence in his eyes now, the slackness of his face.  Yes, it was obvious he wasn’t mentally all there.  

    “Tac-taw go boom!” he announced.  

    Adam wasn’t blushing at all.  He seemed impervious to the staring of other customers. 

    “It sure did Mikey.  But right now I want you to say hello to Sam.”  

    Mikey gaped at me slack-jawed for a moment, but said nothing.  

    “Mikey, use your manners, say hello to Sam,” Adam directed him again.  

    “Hi,” he chirped, before slipping two fingers in his mouth and nibbling at them.  

    Adam shrugged. “I’m afraid that’s about the most you’re going to get now. He’s a bit shy.”  

    “No problem,” I assured.  

    Adam leant closer to Mikey, putting a hand on his arm.  “Honey, we’re going to go soon, so do you need to make tinkles now?” he asked.  

    My eyes widened at the intrusive question.  But the grown man before me didn’t look scandalised.  He didn’t blush, didn’t tell Adam not to ask personal questions in public.  No he just shook his head, his expression neutral.  

    “Are you sure?” Adam followed up.  

    “No tinkle,” Mikey confirmed.  

    “Is that because you tinkled already?” Adam asked next.  “Did you make a wee-wee in your pants?” 

    I had to fight hard not to let my jaw drop.  But Mikey still wasn’t embarrassed by the question.  

    “Nuh-uh,” he answered.  “Bih-boy!”  

    “Okay, let’s just have a look then.”  

    Have a look?  I couldn’t believe it, but Adam grabbed the front of Mikey’s shorts, pulled up his t-shirt and then yanked the elastic waist back, peering down into the man’s crotch.  After a long moment he pronounced, “Yep, all dry!”  

    Mikey was oblivious to this public exposure.  He just grinned all the more as he was confirmed to be dry.  “Uh-huh! Mikey use da potty.  Mikey bih-boy!”  

    “Yes, you’re a very big boy,” Adam agreed.  “Now, finish your milk before we go.”  

    Adam held up what was unmistakably a sippy cup with two handles.  

    But now Mikey balked, pouting and shaking his head.  

    “Dun wanna.”  

    “Mikey, you need to finish your milk.”  

    “No!” he snapped, deeply pouting now, crossing his arms, looking ready to have a tantrum.  

    “Mikey, no treat later if you don’t finish your milk.  Be a good boy for Daddy.” 

    Mikey’s resolve instantly disappeared.  He clearly wanted his treat, or maybe just to be a good boy.  In any case he let Adam guide the sippy cup to his hands, holding it in both of them, drinking his milk.  He was messy, with milk dribbling down his chin the whole time. But he was doing his best.  

    “There’s my thirsty boy.  Make it all gone for Daddy,” Adam cooed to him, rubbing his back. 

    “And he used to be your colleague?” I asked, still amazed the man slurping down milk from a sippy cup could have once been a functional adult.  

    Adam nodded.  “He was a very smart man actually, before he had an incident with D-R-U-G-S,” he explained, spelling the word out.  

    Mikey’s face remained slack, his glassy eyes zoned out as he drank his milk.  He clearly couldn’t spell at all, probably didn’t even know the alphabet.    

    “Oh, so that’s what happened,” I said, feeling so sad for Mikey.  

    “Yeah, poor guy just burnt out his little brain.  But it’s okay now, he has daddy.  I do all the thinking, all the decision making for him and I keep him safe and happy.”  

    Mikey smacked his lips, smacking the sippy cup down on the table and announcing, “All gone!”  

    Adam lifted the cup to confirm this, then gave Mikey a big smile.  “You sure did. What a good boy you are for Daddy!  And I’m sure Sam is very proud of you too,” he added, looking to me.  

    Mikey looked over at me too, his vacant eyes falling on my face.  

    “Yes Mikey, you’re such a… um, big boy, finishing all your milk,” I praised him.  

    It felt so strange to talk to this grown man like that.  It would have felt strange saying it even to a little kid, but it was ten times stranger to speak to a twenty-something man like that.  

    Mikey ate it up though.  He smiled proudly and agreed, “Imma bih boy.”  

    Then I did something that felt even more awkward for me.  I reached out and put my hand on Mikey’s back.  I normally loathed physical contact with strangers but it was different with kids.  Kids expected physical comfort from adults who cared for them. And I was going to be caring for Mikey.  I needed to get used to that idea now, and get him ready for it.  

    “That’s right Mikey. And you’re a very lucky boy, you have such a nice daddy to look after you.”  

    The grown toddler nodded seriously.  “Wub my daddy,” he affirmed, then turned to Adam and gave him a cuddle.  

    “Aww, thanks buddy. Daddy loves you too,” Adam cooed to him, rubbing his back and giving him a little squeeze.  

    After their cuddle Adam started gathering up their stuff.  “Okay, we have to be going. This little guy will be much less smiley if we miss story time at the library.”  

    “Story-time? Isn’t that for… y’know, little kids?” I asked. 

    “Yeah, but they are perfectly happy with special boys and girls like Mikey coming too.  There are a couple others who come now and then too.”  

    As he got up I had to ask, “Did Mikey leave his shoes somewhere?”  

    Adam chuckled.  “Oh no, he doesn’t have any to lose.  It’s bare feeties all the time for my little guy.”  

    “Really? How come?”  

    “Well it’s the healthiest thing for little boys.  Strengthens all the muscles there, toughens the soles.  Little boys are so clumsy and they’re always running and climbing.  It really helps having them barefoot, keeps them aware of their surroundings, makes them watch where they’re walking more, gives better grip when they climb.”  

    It was a fair argument, but it overlooked the social aspect of it.  Mikey had such dirty feet now and he was being made to walk around barefoot in public. 

    “All the time though?”  

    “It started out as a quick way to toughen his feet up at the start.  But he got used to it so quickly, found it so enjoyable, and I realised that no one complained about his lack of shoes. When they saw he was special, that he was really just a little boy, no one expected any more of him than an actual toddler.  So why make him wear shoes when they clearly weren’t necessary and he didn’t want them?” Adam explained.  

    “Yeah, I get that,” I told him.  No point forcing my views, that it looked slovenly and dirty, on them.  

    “So I’ll see you Tuesday.  Say five o’clock?”  

    “Perfect,” I agreed.  

    And off they went, poor Mikey being led along by his hand, dirty soles of his bare feet smacking along the floor and then the pavement of the footpath.  Adam was definitely a caring father, but he had no taste at all.  

    **

    “Thanks so much for helping out,” Adam greeted me.  

    “No worries,” I assured him, heading into the house.  

    It had been a while since I’d last been in the place, but it had utterly transformed now.  There were toddler and preschooler toys just everywhere.  A toy box in the corner of the living room just overflowed with them.  There was Play Doh, Thomas the Tank Engine trains scattered about, Duplo Blocks and a bunch of toy dinosaurs among other toys.  

    “Wow,” was all I could say.  

    Adam laughed.  “Yeah, it’s pretty nuts. Little guy is basically in charge of this room.”  

    Mikey came out of the kitchen then, a ratty looking stuffed raccoon cuddled against his face while he sort of chewed on the ear.  He was wearing a white t-shirt that showed all the food stains it had been subjected to, maybe just today.  He wasn’t wearing any pants either, just these rather thick looking undies with navy blue piping and designs of cars and trucks decorating them.  They were sized to fit Mikey, but clearly looked like they belonged on an actual little boy.  

    Adam smiled and waved him over.  “C’mon Mikey, say hello to your babysitter.  You remember Sam.”  

    Mikey nodded, but the raccoon ear didn’t leave his mouth.  

    “Use your words, silly,” Adam prompted him.  

    “Hi Sam,” Mikey greeted quietly, still looking me over warily.  

    “He’s still a little bit shy with you, but that won’t last much longer and then you won’t be able to stop him chatting to you and demanding cuddles,” Adam warned.  

    That still made me feel a little uneasy.  I wasn’t a big fan of physical contact and Adam knew that.  But I smiled nonetheless.  

    “I’m sure you’ve noticed his lack of pants.  I’m afraid just getting him into his big boy undies and his shirt took all my efforts.  Mikey’s generally my big little nudist.  He almost never has clothes on when we’re home.”

    I felt even more uncomfortable hearing that.  What if the man-boy tried to strip off again?  Would I be expected to stop him? 

    “Is that… is it hard to stop him?” I asked awkwardly.  

    “Oh… no, I don’t discourage it,” Adam clarified.  “I mean, if anything I’ve been very encouraging of his nudist streak.  It helps him get to the potty and he’s such a messy boy, it saves me a lot of laundry.  You can see what happens when he wears a shirt for lunch.”  

    Get to the potty.  Did he mean the toilet, or did he mean… ah, yes, now I saw it, a plastic potty seat was right next to the toy box.  

    “Does he use… um, that?” I asked, pointing to the potty seat.  

    Adam nodded.  “Yes, he’s really only used to using his own potty.  The grown-up toilet scares him.  I find it’s best to simply get him seated on the potty while I read to him, let him be on it for ten minutes or so and then see if he’s used it.”  

    “So the undies will have to come off for that,” I noted. 

    “Oh, I doubt they’re going to stay on for long.  I got him dressed as best I could because I know how you are Sam.  And that’s okay, but if you’re going to do this, you’re going to have to get used to seeing Mikey in his birthday suit.  So don’t worry about keeping him in his clothes, it isn’t worth the fight.”  

    He was right that it made me uncomfortable, but I wasn’t neurotic about it.  The man was basically a big toddler.  Toddlers were messy, they did all sorts of embarrassing and disgusting things and you just had to deal with it.  

    “I’ll be fine,” I assured him.  

    “Okay then.  His dinner's in the fridge, marked with his name. You just need to warm it up in the microwave.  He needs a bath before bed.  His normal bed-time book is next to the bed. He likes to be cuddled while you read it and he’ll want to help by turning the pages.  And don’t worry about jammies after his bath, the bed has a waterproof liner and he always sleeps in the buff.”  

    He may like being cuddled while hearing his story, but that part wasn’t likely to happen tonight, at least not while he was also naked.  There was a limit to what I would accommodate.  

    “Got it Adam,” I assured him.  “You go on out and I’ll take care of everything.”  

    “Oh, bedtime is eight o’clock,” Adam added. “If he stays up any later he gets cranky.”  

    Wow, that was an early bedtime.  Surely his body didn’t need as much sleep as a real little boy.  But it wasn’t my place to question Adam’s rules, so I just nodded.  

    Adam gave Mikey a big cuddle before heading off, finally leaving me alone in charge of the man-toddler.  

    “So, you want to show me some of your toys?” I asked him.  

    While still looking a little shy, Mikey nodded and went over to his toy box.  

    “Dis choo-choo twain,” he told me seriously, taking a toy I recognised as Henry and holding it up for me to look at.  

    “Oh yes, that’s Henry, isn’t it?” I said, showing off my knowledge of children’s shows.  

    Mikey grinned.  “Henwy,” he agreed.  “Henwy geen,” he chirped, looking positively proud at his ability to name the colour.  

    “He sure is!” I praised the twenty-something for correctly identifying a colour.  “What a clever little boy you are.”  

    His shyness was quickly disappearing in response to my praise.  Mikey crept over to me and handed me the toy.  

    “You hab,” he said, then turned to play with one I recognised as Edward, making little chugging noises for it as he pushed it along the carpet.  

    I kept the toy with me as I went to the kitchen to see what was left for dinner.  Mikey was engrossed in play now so it was fine.  Turned out to be simple chicken fingers and baby carrots with hummus to dip them in.  A note explained that everything should be kept separate, Mikey didn’t like his foods touching.  

    I was about to warm them up when heavy footsteps approached.  Mikey was standing there with a serious expression, his knees twisted together, hand gripping the front of his undies.  

    “Potty!” he announced.  

    “It’s back in the playroom honey, you should hurry back to it,” I told him.  

    He nodded and held out his free hand urgently.  Oh, he needed an adult to watch.  He actually couldn’t even use the toilet on his own.  

    I took his hand, letting him lead us quickly back to the play area.  He turned around, facing me as we reached the potty, waiting for something.  Oh, he wanted my help.  Great, this was the last thing I wanted.  But it was better than cleaning up a mess.  I grabbed his undies and yanked them down, letting them drop to his ankles.  

    With a smile he sat on his potty seat, looking ridiculous on the little plastic thing.  It was only seconds before the sound of urine on plastic could be heard and Mikey’s smile grew bigger.  

    “Good job Mikey,” I praised him, giving his knee a little pat.  

    “Tinkles in potty,” Mikey told me proudly.  

    “They sure are.”  

    When he was done he stood back up and I saw that his penis was still wet with the last few drops.  It was so strange to be seeing another man’s dick like this.  Not only that, he was all smooth down there.  Apparently Adam had shaved him, maybe to make cleaning up accidents easier.  I got a wet-wipe and awkwardly dabbed the end of his penis with it.  It was so weird, being so close to him, having him just stand there with that blank expression, no shame at all as another man cleaned his penis.  

    “Okay, all clean,” I pronounced.  

    “Aw cwean,” Mikey parrotted.  

    I looked down at his undies, still piled at his feet.  Well there was nothing worse to see now anyway, so maybe I should let him be more comfortable, if he really did prefer that.  

    “Mikey, did you want to leave your undies off?” I asked him.  

    He nodded instantly.  

    “You like being naked, huh?”  

    He giggled. “Uh-huh! Imma nakey boy,” he agreed.  

    “Okay, let’s get those undies off your feet then,” I agreed, helping him to step out of them.  

    Mikey was clearly happy with this change, hopping up and down, his limp penis sort of jiggling up and down, visible beneath the bottom of his t-shirt.  

    “Better?” I asked. 

    “Yeff!” he agreed.  Then he said, “I wike Sam,” and opened his arms to me, asking for a cuddle.  

    How could I refuse?  I let Mikey cuddle into my arms.  Oh, he was actually really nice to cuddle with.  He was warm and solid in my arms, he squeezed me, but not too tightly and he rested his head on my shoulder.  It was such a truly loving hug, no hesitation, no awkwardness from him at all.  

    “You my fwiend?” he asked as we hugged.  

    “Yeah, sure Mikey.  I’m your friend,” I agreed.  

    He giggled lightly, then I felt something really unexpected. He pecked two kisses on my cheek.  

    “Sam’s my fwiend,” he declared brightly.  

    “Aww, thanks buddy,” I cooed to him.  I normally loath physical touch, but this, it was actually enjoyable, it felt good to be given such unguarded affection.  I mean I could feel this man’s penis, his bare penis, actually brushing against me, but instead of revulsion I just felt awe at how open he was.  

    After our cuddle, which must have lasted a full minute, Mikey said, “Lez watch toons!”  

    That was a perfect idea.  That would keep him engrossed for a long time, maybe all night.  

    “Sure buddy!  What you want to watch?” I asked.  

    Apparently he already knew, because he hurried to the shelf with all the DVDs and quickly picked one out.  

    “Watch dis!” he urged.  

    “What is it?” I asked, taking the DVD.  

    “Kenny ‘n Owwie!” he announced so eagerly, like I would know what that was.  

    The front cover showed two cartoon men that I certainly didn’t recognise from any show I’d heard of.  But they were always coming out with new kids’ shows these days, and I obviously didn’t keep up with them.  I knew the classics, like Thomas and friends, but this new stuff was a mystery.  

    What was odd was that the men were the same size, both depicted as grown-ups as far as I could tell, but the one on the left was wearing a Tommy Pickles outfit of t-shirt and diaper and nothing else.  What kind of show was this?  Oh well, it would keep this giant rugrat entertained and that’s what mattered.  So I popped it in the DVD player.  

    Mikey was bouncing on the couch now, legs folded under him.  

    “Which episode?” I asked.  

    “Watch ‘em all!” he demanded.  

    “Ah, you’re a binge watcher.  I get that.  Okay then,” I agreed, sitting next to him on the couch and hitting play.  

    The show seemed to be about two young men who were moving in together because their parents had got married.  Kenny, it explained, was a little boy, even though he looked big. Ah, no wonder Mikey loved this show so much, it was practically about him. 

    The Ollie character on the other hand wasn’t so sure how he fit into his new family and Kenny wanted him to be little like him, to become his true brother.  The first episode established the general arc of the show.  Ollie wanting to fit into his new family, but struggling with how to be a little boy like Kenny.  He was resistant to the idea of course, insistent that he was a big boy, that he didn’t like little kid stuff.  But by the end of the episode Kenny had shown him how much fun it was to be little and Ollie agreed to let Kenny show him how to be a happy little boy.  

    “Owwie bein’ siwwy!” Mikey pronounced as we waited for the next episode to load.  

    I nodded.  “Yeah, he was insisting he was a big boy.  So silly,” I said sarcastically, but knowing it would go right over his head.  

    The second episode loaded with it’s cheesy theme song playing, then the title card announcing this episode was called “Free Feet!”  

    The episode opened with Kenny excited for a trip to the library.  

    “Why are you so excited about going to a library? You can’t even read!” Ollie chided the overgrown toddler.  

    “Don’t have to read silly! It’s story time, so the grown-up lady reads to us.  And she does all the voices and it’s so much fun.  But even better is after the library. That’s when we go to the playground next door!” Kenny explained.  

    The conflict in this episode became clear as they were about to leave for the library, both characters still dressed as in the first episode.  That was standard for all cartoons, right?  But Kenny pointed to Ollie’s feet and shook his head.  

    “Ollie, you gotta leave your shoes here,” Kenny insisted.  

    “What! Why?  

    “You still look all big and grown-up.  You’ll look silly at story-time sitting with the other little boys and girls.  And you can’t have shoes on the playground neither!”  

    Ollie pouted, looking very much like a little boy.  “But then everyone will think I’m little, and my feet will get all dirty too!”  

    But Kenny just nodded.  “Exactly!”  

    “Huh?  

    “Everyone will know you’re little.  And it’s going to feel so good Ollie.  And your feeties will get all dirty.  Little boys need to be messy.  It feels so good getting messy.  And it feels so, so good having free feeties.  You know you want to have free feeties. Nothing feels as good as that!” 

    It was such a strange plot.  But the longer I watched, the funnier I felt.  When Ollie gave in and took off his shoes I felt good for him.  Lucky Ollie, now his free feet would feel so nice.  Yes, having free feet would be so comfy.  And that’s exactly what the character learnt in the episode.  By the end of it he was squishing his toes in the mud on the walk home after the playground.  Yes, he was a very lucky little boy.  

    Mikey clapping and hopping up and down next to me shook me out of my thoughts.  Wow, I’d really got absorbed into the episode. I’d totally forgotten where I was, that I had this boy to be babysitting.  

    “Lookit!” Mikey told me.  

    I looked over to see him holding his foot, showing it to me.  

    “I got fwee feeties!” he announced.  

    I nodded.  Yes, Mikey was such a lucky boy, with his free bare feet.  God, that looked so comfy.  And his soles were all dirty too. Yes, that’s just how they were meant to look.  It must feel so nice.  

    “They’re all dirty on the bottom,” I pointed out.  

    Mikey nodded, still smiling.  “Feets get icky.  Daddy call ‘em widdle boy feets,” he told me.  

    “Yeah, little boy feet sounds right,” I agreed.  

    Normally I would find such an idea repulsive.  I mean dirt was bad.  It was bad to be all dirty, all covered in grime and germs.  Except for little boys.  Little boys needed to be all filthy.  That’s just how they were meant to be.  Right?  

    I couldn’t ponder it longer as the next episode began and I just felt so drawn in the second the theme music began to play.  

    **

    I knelt on a towel at the side of the bathtub, sleeves rolled all the way up, though my shirt was a bit wet and sudsy anyway.  Mikey kept splashing the water.  A couple times he did it intentionally to wet me, smiling cheekily.  But mostly he was just oblivious to the mess he was making. He was utterly engrossed with his bath toys.  He had a scuba man, a couple bright plastic boats, and for some reason a Spiderman action figure too.  

    He at least mostly cooperated as I scrubbed him clean.  He really was quite grimy.  It wasn’t just the soles of his feet, though they were by far the worst.  His hands were messy too, his knees grimy from crawling around the grass and dirt of the yard earlier in the day.  His hair had a couple twigs stuck in it from when he must have done somersaults outside as well.  

    The bathroom was humid, steamy even, with that familiar smell of warm bathwater.  I had to admit this was actually quite enjoyable, caring for this big little boy.  He was so smiley, so happy and innocent.  

    “Sam, you geddin!” Mikey urged at one point, patting his hands on the water’s surface again.  

    “No silly, only little boys have baths,” I reminded him.  

    He shrugged and returned to talking to his scuba man.  But a strange part of me did kind of want to climb into the water with him.  It was so nice and warm.  The tub was so big too. It would be quite a squeeze to be sure, but we’d probably both fit.  But that would be totally inappropriate of course.  

    After his bath Mikey climbed out and let me scrub him dry as best I could with a nice soft, thirsty towel.  

    “Okay, now it beddy-byes time,” I told him.  

    How odd that it was beginning to feel natural speaking to this fully grown man in such a childish way.  

    Mikey pouted.  

    “Wanna stay up wid you!” he sulked.  

    “I know, but Daddy says this is your normal bedtime and I want to be able to tell him you were a very good boy.”  

    Mikey frowned stubbornly while I ran the towel over his arms and then his legs.  

    “Are you going to be a good boy for me, Mikey?” 

    The twenty-something man nodded at last.  

    “Uh-huh.  But you gotta wead me a stowy,” he insisted. 

    I chuckled lightly.  “Of course I will honey.”  

    All dry, Mikey took my hand, eager to have his story at least.  So strange, watching him pad along the carpeted hallway with his body so bare, so utterly exposed.  I didn’t even suggest pyjamas, or putting his stained t-shirt back on.  Adam said this was his normal sleep attire, his birthday suit.  

    Mikey climbed quickly into his bed, getting under his dinosaur themed sheets and grabbing the big picture book off his bed stand.  

    “C’mon, we gotta cuddle,” he urged, patting the space on the bed next to him.  

    And something strange happened then.  All my hang-ups about physical contact, my awkwardness around nudity, seemed to have simply melted away.  On the contrary, I felt a powerful urge to climb into the bed, snuggle Mikey up, have close, affectionate, physical contact with him.  

    “Okay buddy!” I said, climbing into the warm bed, feeling that soft waterproof sheet under me.  

    Mikey quickly rolled his body right into mine.  I snaked my arms under his shoulders, squeezed him in tighter, feeling his leg even intertwine with my own.  So much skin to skin contact.  He was warm and smelled so fresh from his bath.  His head, with its still damp hair, rested solidly on my shoulder and shoved the book into my hands.  

    It was a silly little book about a bear hunt, complete with animations of course.  Simple short words, but even then they were too complex for little Mikey now.  

    “Do you know what that says?” I asked him, running my finger across the first line.  We’re going on a bear hunt!

    Mikey gazed at the words, his eyes so unfocused, his face slack and sleepy and uncomprehending.  He touched the line with his own finger, but said nothing.  After a moment he simply shook his head.  

    “That’s okay, you’re much too little to read, aren’t you honey?”  

    Mikey nodded seriously.  “Too widdle,” he agreed.  

    So I read the story to him instead.  He helped by turning the pages of course.  

    “I do it. Mikey hewp!” he chirped each time.  

    “Good boy,” I replied each time as well.  

    Mostly though, he snuggled tightly against me, sucking on his thumb, eyes half-closed as he prepared to drift off to sleep at eight in the evening.  

    But the very strangest thing of all was the thoughts that kept popping unheeded into my head.  Wondering what it felt like for Mikey, not knowing how to read even the simplest of words.  What was it like to go from such an intelligent, independent adult to this?  

    But most of all, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Mikey felt being all naked.  And what it would be like if I was naked too.  We’d watched three episodes of Ollie and Kenny and at the end of the third they’d been cuddling each other to sleep.  What would that be like? If I was like Mikey, if I was simple-minded too and we were sharing this bed, having the story read to the two of us, as brothers.  How would this cuddle feel if I was just as naked as Mikey, if our bare penises brushed against each other.  

    It was a relief when Mikey’s eyes closed and he drifted off to sleep with the story not even finished.  I managed to extricate myself from the bed without waking him, going back to the living room to recover my composure.  I had to shut out these strange thoughts.  How could I be feeling almost… jealous, of Mikey?  He was trapped here with a toddler’s mind.  He was messy and totally lacking any privacy, or even a concept of privacy.  And yet, even as I thought about that, my penis got hard.  

    **

    For the rest of the week I kept having these thoughts about Mikey, about what he might be doing at the moment, about what it would be like to be him.  

    When I got home from work on Wednesday I immediately kicked off my shoes, peeled off my socks.  God, that felt so much better, just an utter relief.  I needed to go to the supermarket though, buy my dinner.  But when I got to the front door I hesitated before grabbing my shoes.  It felt so good having free feeties.  I scrunched my toes on the carpet.  God, it was nice to have them out in the air, feeling the floor under my soles.  

    I didn’t even own a pair of sandals or jandals though.  I’d never liked guys who wore them. But now… I didn’t want to put those shoes back on.  What if I just went to the store barefoot?  

    Ugh, my penis stiffened instantly.  

    But my feet would be all dirty if I did that.  

    Oh God, my erection stiffened more.  

    Everyone would see me though.  They’d see I was a barefoot guy, walking around the supermarket with no shoes like… like a little boy.  

    I almost creamed my pants right there at the thought.  I was sweating heavily, I was so aroused.  This wasn’t normal of course.  But I didn’t want it to stop.  

    I walked out the door, feeling that warm pavement under my soles.  I got in my car.  Jesus, I’d never driven barefoot in my life.  And then I was at the supermarket, the moment of truth.  I got out of the car, felt the hot pavement of the car park under my bare soles, then the smooth, cool linoleum floor of the store.  I had done it.  And god did it feel amazing!  

    **

    Tuesday afternoon meant it was time to babysit Mikey again.  I changed out of my work clothes, put on something more comfy.  I’d been dressing down after work all week.  Why bother being all formal when you didn’t have to be?  And besides, tonight I’d be dealing with a messy little boy.  It had been silly to dress in good clothes last week.  

    I was feeling thrilled to see Mikey again.  I couldn’t stop picturing him after his bath last week, all pink and smooth and nakey, his doodle bouncing between his thighs as he walked to the bedroom.  

    Then Adam messaged me: 

    Hey mate, sorry I got stuck at work.  Could you pick Mikey up from his daycare and bring him home? 

    Mikey went to a daycare during the day.  Huh, well that made sense.  He couldn’t very well stay home alone could he?  

    I quickly replied that I’d be happy to pick him up and Adam sent me the details.  

    The daycare turned out to be an adult care centre.  It was a place filled with special people, intellectually impaired adults.  The front door was tightly secured, like a jail or a psych ward.  But once the receptionist had buzzed me through I was led to a room that looked very much like a child’s daycare.  

    The walls were brightly coloured, painted with trees and flowers and cartoon animals.  The special men and women played with toys, coloured with crudely held crayons, watched a children’s cartoon show.  

    Mikey was sitting there on his bottom on the floor watching the show with four others.  I noticed right away that he seemed to be wearing nothing but his shorts.  He was shirtless as well as barefoot.  And actually both the other men on the floor with him were the same.  Actually no, one of them was wearing just these thick undies, perhaps pull-ups actually.  And even the thirty-something woman next to him was topless and even braless.  She was just wearing the frilliest pink skirt, her bare breasts on full display.  

    None of them seemed to notice my arrival.  They were all totally absorbed with their show.  Mikey was gazing at it with wide, glassy eyes and the slackest jaw, his chin shiny with drool.  What on Earth was so captivating?  

    Oh, it was Kenny and Ollie!  For a moment I felt almost compelled to sit right down next to Mikey on my butt, to watch the entrancing show with him.  

    But the desire to get him home, be his babysitter, was stronger.  

    “Mikey honey, it’s time to go home buddy,” I told him, kneeling down and patting his shoulder.  

    Mikey looked over at me, blinking as though he were just waking from a nap.  After a long moment his eyes focused and he smiled at me.  

    “Sam!” he chirped.  

    “That’s right buddy.  You ready to go home?”  

    “Uh-huh!”  

    I got him stood up and said, “Let’s get your things. Do you have a cubby here?”  

    “Yeth!” he assured, taking my hand to lead me this time.  

    We found his bag in his cubby.  The cubby was labeled with his name, but also his photo.  No doubt so that he could recognise it.  His t-shirt was there as well.  There were shirts and bras in a number of the cubbies in fact.  

    “Okay, we better get your shirt back on,” I prompted.  

    Mikey nodded obediently and raised his hands in the air, waiting for me to dress him.  

    “How come everyone has their shirts off?” I asked as I threaded his arms through the holes.  

    “Cuz more comfy,” he answered.  

    I was surprised the carers let them just run around half naked because it was more comfortable, but it probably also meant less mess for them.  No need for a change of clothes if you just take their clothes off on arrival.  

    “There we go, all dressed!” I pronounced.  

    Mikey grinned and patted his tummy, looking down.  His eyes widened and he grinned ear to ear, pointing at our feet.  

    “Sam goz fwee feeties!” he declared.  

    I felt embarrassed and excited at once, having him notice, having him point it out to everyone.  

    “Yeah, I like being barefoot too.  It feels so nice,” I told him.  

    “Dem icky feets?” he asked.  

    I felt a little thrill as I stood on one foot and held up the other to show him the bare sole, to show him how black it was. I hadn’t worn shoes outside of work for a week now.  

    Mikey beamed.  “Widdle boy feets!” he confirmed.  

    “Yep, just like yours,” I told him, opening my arms as he instantly thrust his body into mine, demanding the biggest of cuddles.  Oh, it felt so good hugging him.  Our toes overlapped and I felt his wiggling atop mine.  

    **

    Back at Adam’s house again I got Mikey unbuckled from the back-seat, let him hurry inside.  He showed me more of his toys after that.  We played with his blocks, crashed his cars together.  Then I warmed up the dinner Adam had left for him.  But as I laid it out, I couldn’t help but say, “Mikey, I don’t want you to get your clothes messy while you’re eating.  Why don’t we take them off.  Would you like that buddy?”  

    He nodded right away, creeping over on his hands and knees and sitting back on his bottom, arms raised straight in the air.  I slipped the t-shirt back off.  My heart pounded as I said, “Okay Mikey, go ahead and stand up for me, so we can… um, get everything off you.”  

    Without a flicker of hesitation or blush, Mikey stood up, waiting innocently as I undid the button of his shorts, unzipped them and then slipped my thumbs into the waist of not just the shorts, but his cartoon-print undies as well.  I slipped them down at once, watching his penis flop clear.  As I knelt down at his feet to guide them out of the leg holes, I was at the perfect height to look right at his doodle, all smooth and soft, dangling between his hairless thighs.  

    “There we go, all nakey!” I said, gathering up his piled clothes.  

    “Nakey boy!” Mikey agreed brightly, reaching down without a hint of shame, grabbing his penis and absently poking and playing with it right in front of me.  “Lookit my doodle! All bounthy!” he declared, hopping up and down so his penis did indeed jiggle and flop about.  

    And I just smiled and nodded and even reached out and softly patted his bare bottom.  I wanted to encourage this nudism. I wanted him to know it was a good thing to be a nakey boy.  

    But most of all, I wanted to know what it felt like.  I mean, I knew what it felt like to be nude.  But what did it feel like to have no modesty about it, to be so utterly innocent about being naked in front of another man.  

    Mikey ate his dinner with his fingers and I cleaned him up afterwards.  But then he wanted to watch more cartoons.  

    “You were just watching Kenny and Ollie at daycare.  You really want to watch more?” I asked.  

    But he nodded vigorously.  “Wanna watch wid Sam!” he insisted, pulling me to the living room, to snuggle up on the couch again.  

    I didn’t want to argue with that.  Soon I had his bare body cuddled so warmly against me.  He was sprawled right across my lap, arm around my neck, head resting on my shoulder.  I rested my own hands on his legs, feeling that smooth skin.  

    We picked up with the fourth episode of Kenny and Ollie, right where we left off.  And as comfy and excited as I felt with Mikey on my lap, as soon as the theme song started, I was aware of nothing but the TV screen.  It just made me feel so peaceful, so utterly safe and secure.  There was no need to worry about anything else.  Just watch the toons, watch Kenny and Ollie and learn from them.  Kenny had such important lessons for us.  And we were all such good boys, such fast learners.  

    **

    We watched four episodes, but then it was bath time.  I drew it, got the toys in the water, then waited as Mikey climbed in.  I knelt there at the side, wishing I got to be so splashy and have cool toys.  Mikey splashed me really big at one point and I couldn’t help but giggle.  

    “Gotchew all wet!” he shouted, grinning ear to ear.  

    “You sure did,” I agreed.  I decided to take off my shirt, since it was all wet.  Oh, it felt nice having my shirt off.  No wonder Mikey went around like this all day at daycare.  He was so lucky.  I had to wear a shirt all day.  I even had to wear shoes for work. Mikey didn’t even own any shoes.  

    After the bath I towelled Mikey dry again.  

    “Lez pway,” he urged me.  

    “Beddy-bye time,” I reminded him.  

    He shook his head.  “Pway together,” he urged.  

    It reminded me of the episode of Kenny and Ollie where the boys were left home alone, so they stayed up way past their bed-times and played lots of fun games.  It was naughty, but little boys were meant to be naughty.  Little boys broke the rules sometimes, because it was fun.  

    I really did want to play with Mikey.  And I wanted to be naughty.  I wanted to break the rules.  That was silly.  That felt good.  

    “Okay, let’s play a little bit,” I agreed.  

    “Yay! Pway time!” Mikey shouted, hurrying back to the living room, to the toys.  

    I joined him there, on the floor, on our hands and knees.  It was fun playing with him and he had such good toys too.  

    As we played with the cars, driving him on this special rug laid out like city streets, Mikey put his hand on my back, getting my attention.  

    “You my beft fwiend,” he told me, looking utterly serious.  

    And the level of affection I felt for him just absolutely surged.  I was being completely honest when I nodded and assured him, “You’re my best friend too!”  

    He smiled and we shared another cuddle, right there on the floor.  It felt nice with so much skin to skin contact.  

    Then Mikey poked at my shorts and said, “You be nakey.”  

    I shook my head.  “No Mikey, I can’t get naked.”  

    “Feews good,” he insisted.  “Bounthy pee-pee,” he urged, bouncing on his knees to make his penis jiggle again.  

    “I know. I’m glad you like being nakey.  But only little boys can run around being naked jaybirds.  I’m a big boy.  I mean… I’m all grown up,” I corrected.  

    Mikey pouted and poked my foot.  “Widdle boy feets,” he said.  

    I chuckled.  “Yeah, I do have little boy feet, like you.  But the rest of me is big.”  

    “Be widdle. Wike Owwie!” he urged.  

    I understood now.  The last episode we watched, Ollie learned how fun it was to be naked after a bath.  Mikey clearly thought I was like Ollie, that I was trying to become his brother.  And inside, in my own head, I couldn’t help but feel the same thing.  It was so strange, but yeah, I felt like a big part of me did want to be his brother.  I did want to be like Ollie.  And it would be amazing to be naked now, like Mikey.  

    But this wasn’t a cartoon.  I was a grown-up, I was the babysitter, not the brother.  

    “Sorry Mikey, but I have to stay big so I can take care of you,” I explained.  

    Mikey pouted, but he seemed to understand that.  We played a bit longer, but then he started to yawn and I knew he needed to actually get to sleep.  

    Soon we were back in his bed.  It felt so nice under those covers, with Mikey cuddled next to me.  I started reading the book to him.  He didn’t care that it was the same story as last time.  It must be the same one a lot.  He liked the repetition.  Little kids are like that.  

    What changed this time is how sleepy I felt.  But then something happened to make me regain some alertness.  Mikey began to hump his penis against my thigh as I read the story.  At first I thought I was imagining it. Then I thought it was incidental.  But Mikey continued, and he began to hump harder.  

    I stopped reading, looking down at Mikey.  He was staring right up at me, his eyes wide, arms tight around me as he pushed his penis up and down against my shorts.  

    “Mikey, what are you doing buddy?” I asked.  

    “My doodle happy.  Gez happy when Daddy weads me.  Sam make it happy too.”  

    I knew this should be revolting to me.  I should be stopping this, getting out of bed, telling Mikey this was inappropriate.  

    But Mikey didn’t know any better.  He just felt happy, he felt good, because of me.  I peaked under the covers.  Oh yes, he had a pulsing erection.  He was stiff as a board, grinding against me.  I’d made him that excited.  My gentleness with him, my cuddles.  And that just made me feel so, so good.  I wanted to make Mikey happy like that.  And it was so exciting to see his total lack of inhibitions again.  

    “Do you… um, rub your doodle against Daddy like this?” I asked.  

    Mikey breathed faster, pushing with more effort.  “Uh-huh.  Daddy tickle my doodle when it happy.”  

    “And you like that?”  

    He nodded right away.  “Doodle make stickies for Daddy. Stickies is nithe.”  

    God, I so wanted to share some “stickies” with him.  But I couldn’t.  That would be wrong.  Was it wrong that Adam touched him down there? Was it wrong for Adam to help him get that release?  I didn’t know, but it would definitely be wrong for me.  I wasn’t even his Daddy.  

    But I didn’t want to stop him either.  I couldn’t ruin his fun.  And it didn’t take much longer anyway.  I just let the book go, put my arms around his body and held him close, patting his back as he thrust and thrust and then grunted loudly, releasing streaks of sticky goo across my body and his own.  

    I had streaks of Mikey’s warm cum across my tummy and chest.  It should have disgusted me.  But all I felt was happy for him, and jealous.  What an incredible release.  What freedom to have that pleasure without any concern for what it meant, for who was watching.  

    Mikey kissed me on the cheek again, a big wet smooch.  This time, I kissed him back, planting one right on his lips.  

    He giggled and then yawned again, going limp in my arms, drifting rapidly off to sleep.  And this time I just stayed where I was.  I was so sleepy now too.  And this was so comfy.  In no time at all, I was sleeping too.  

    **

    “Good morning buddy.”  

    It was Adam’s gentle voice that woke me up.  The light in the window told me that it was indeed morning already.  I’d slept the whole night in Mikey’s bed.  Shit.  

    I blushed deep red.  This looked awful, me in bed with this intellectually impaired man, who was naked, who’s cum was now surely dried all over my stomach.  

    “Adam… I, oh, I must’ve drifted off while I was reading…” I stammered.  

    Adam didn’t look upset though, he just looked concerned.  

    “Don’t worry about it Sam,” he assured me.  “Are you decent under there?” he asked.  

    “Decent?” I repeated, confused.  

    He nodded. “You have some undies on? Or, are you nakey?”  

    I quickly shook my head. “No, no, I’ve got my shorts on.  I just… I took off my shirt cuz we was taking a bath.  I mean… I was giving Mikey his bath.”  

    Adam nodded, but then he pointed at the end of the bed, where my feet were poking out from the end of the covers.  

    “I just noticed that you have little boy feeties down there.  Icky feets like those only come from being barefooted a lot.”  

    I blushed again and shrugged.  “Oh, yeah… I have been recently.”  

    “I didn’t see any shoes by the door when I got home.  Did you come barefoot today?”  

    “Yeah, I didn’t think I’d need shoes for tonight and we would be playing ‘nd stuff so…”

    “It’s fine, it’s fine buddy.  You don’t have to explain it to me.  I know how comfy bare feet are for boys.  And that’s what you are, right Sam?”  

    I hesitated.  The way he asked that was confusing.  “Um… yeah,” I agreed.  

    Adam nodded.  “That’s what I thought.”  

    “Huh?”  

    “I checked the DVD player when I saw you were in this bed last night.  I saw you’ve been watching Kenny and Ollie.  You watched it with Mikey, didn’t you?”  

    “Oh… yeah, why?” I asked, really confused now.  It sounded like that was naughty.  My penis stiffened a bit at the thought of being naughty.  Little boys were naughty.  

    “How many episodes did you watch? Can you remember?” he asked.  

    “Um.  Maybe eight?  I dunno.  Mikey really likes it.”  

    “It makes all little boys happy.  Very happy.  Mikey probably had a nice release last night, didn’t he?”  

    Oh God, he knew.  I squirmed uncomfortably.  “Oh… he did… um, yeah, he sort of touched himself and I didn’t know if I should stop him…” 

    Adam chuckled.  Thank goodness he didn’t seem upset.  Instead he sort of rubbed my shoulder to relax me.  

    “It’s fine Sam, Mikey likes to make his stickies on a daily basis.  He’s still got a man’s sex drive and needs after all.  I help him most nights. It’s very bonding.  I love making him happy.”  

    “Oh… okay,” I said, relieved that I wasn’t in trouble, even though it was good to be a little naughty.  

    “I had just thought you might have had a release of your own,” Adam began.  

    I violently shook my head.  “No! I would never do that Adam,” I assured him.  

    Again he patted my arm in a calming way.  “Shh, shh, it’s okay Sam.  I wouldn’t be upset with you for getting some release.  It’s quite natural after watching so much Kenny and Ollie.  But I knew you hadn’t made your stickies yet.”  

    “Yet?” I asked, feeling so utterly befuddled now.  

    Adam nodded, frowning slightly now.  

    “I’m sorry buddy.  I didn’t know that Mikey had any idea where those DVDs were kept.  You really weren’t supposed to see those shows.”  

    “It’s just some cartoon,” I said.  

    “No honey, it really isn’t.  You see Mikey didn’t really have a drug overdose at all.  What made his head all empty was watching Kenny and Ollie.  The show is hypnotic, inducing a deep trance and then planting suggestions.  

    “It’s made to be a very pleasurable experience, so you’d want to keep watching, over and over.  Needing to masturbate afterwards is very normal.  The first time Mikey watched them, he couldn’t keep his hands off himself.  You’ve shown incredible control not to touch yourself, impressive really.”  

    My heart was pounding in my chest.  I’d been exposed to hypnosis.  Jesus, that explained so much.  All these strange thoughts and desires had been put into my head.  God, it was a relief to know I wasn’t just a pervert.  

    “Wow, Adam, that makes me feel a lot better actually.  I’ve been having all these strange urges.  And oh wow, that’s gotta be why I’ve been going around barefoot so much!”  

    “Oh definitely.  I wanted Mikey to be my perpetually barefooted boy, so that’s a major part of the suggestions,” Adam confirmed.  

    As messed up as all that was, all I cared about now was I was off the hook.  

    “Well, guess I won’t be watching any more of that show,” I joked.  

    Adam didn’t laugh though.  He was frowning again.  

    “What’s wrong?” I asked.  

    “The programming doesn’t work all at once.  It can change some behaviours, make you feel funny, but most of what’s placed inside your head doesn’t come out until it’s triggered.”  

    I had the sudden feeling of a ticking time bomb inside me.  My anxiety was back in a flash.  

    “What trigger?!” I demanded.  

    My gasp was loud enough that it woke Mikey up.  He stirred in the bed beside me, stretching out, smiling sleepily up at his Daddy.  

    “Wakie-wakie buddy,” Adam cooed.  

    “Daddy!” Mikey chirped, throwing off his covers and bounding over to cuddle his Daddy.  

    Knowing that Mikey had actually been made like this by Adam made me see this in a whole new light.  Had Mikey wanted this?  Had he had any say at all?  What was I a part of?  

    Adam cuddled and kissed Mikey, even reaching right down and gently flicking his soft penis.  

    “Did you make some nice big gooey squirts for Sam last night?”  

    Mikey chortled innocently.  “Yeth Daddy! Made ‘em on Sam.  He dun do ‘em Daddy.  Sam no stickies.”  

    “I know baby.  Next time you’ll just have to help him, won’t you?” Adam cooed to him.  

    Mikey nodded. “Mikey gonna hewp,” he agreed.  

    “Such a good boy. Okay, you go play while I talk with Sam, okay honey.”  

    Mikey didn’t need telling twice.  He raced out of the room, already full of energy.  

    “What was that about?  He can’t be… y’know, touching me down there,” I gasped.  

    Adam sat back on the side of the bed.  

    “Sam, the trigger is different for each person.  I got to decide how I wanted Mikey’s programming triggered.” He paused a moment, then with a shrug said, “I chose ejaculation.”

    My jaw dropped open.  “What?”  

    Adam blushed a little.  

    “Yeah, I know it sounds messed up.  But here’s the thing.  I wanted it to feel wonderful.  I wanted it to be a pleasurable experience.  Having an orgasm at the same time as all his smarts were wiped from his head, every last mature and intelligent thought blanked from his mind, at the same time as he achieved a glorious, orgasmic release.  So that’s what I chose for him.”  

    “What you chose for him?  Did he know what was going to happen?” I asked, unable to keep the accusatory tone out anymore.  

    “Mikey was deeply unhappy.  He wanted out of the life he had one way or another.  I just helped him achieve the least violent exit from all his worries.  Did he know that he’d be like he is now? No.  But I promised him a permanent release from his problems and I delivered that.”  

    “Permanent?” I echoed, more nervous again.  

    Adam nodded.  “The programming is a one way trip.  Mikey won’t be growing back up, going back to his job.  He’s got the mind of a three year old and always will.”  

    “But… you said… I mean, I watched those shows…”  

    Adam nodded seriously.  

    “When I came home last night and saw you in bed with him, I was a little confused.  But then I saw the soles of your feet.  I saw how black they are.  And I know how you are, so neat, so well dressed and never liking physical contact.  So seeing you cuddled in bed with him, dirty feet, I pretty much already knew.  

    “Still, I checked the DVD player to confirm it.  And then I knew there was no question that you’d seen the programming.  I decided to let you sleep, give you some time to let it all be done.  I thought by the time I came this morning it would be finished.  

    “Frankly I fully expected to be greeted with a big drooly smile when I woke you up.  I expected to pull back those sheets and find two bare bodies under them, two big messy streaks of drying cum on the sheets over both your bare doodles.”

    The very suggestion chilled me to the bone.  

    “But I didn’t have my release,” I told him.  “Like you said, I held back.”  

    He nodded.  “Yes, you did.”  

    “So now what?” I asked.  

    “Now?  Well, I’ll get you breakfast shortly.  And then we’ll get the both of you dressed for daycare.  I’ve already called them.  I’ve explained what happened.  They’re part of this of course, they produce DVDs.  They’ve already got a cubby for you, right next to Mikey’s.”  

    What the fuck?!  I shook my head vigorously.  

    “What are you talking about Adam?  Like you said, I didn’t give in, I’ve still got my mind.  I’m going to work, not to daycare!”  

    Adam just gave me that sad, pitying look again.  

    “Oh Sam, you just haven’t had it triggered yet.  It’s just sitting there, waiting.  The next time you ejaculate, that’ll be it.  You’ll instantly experience an irreversible loss of your intelligence and maturity.  Even if you held out for a week or more, eventually it would happen in your sleep.  

    “Then you’d just wake up that way, a toddler in a grown-up body, all alone and probably terrified.  You wouldn’t want that.  Not to mention that you’d miss out on the best part.  Honey I saw Mikey’s trigger ejaculation.  It was better than a normal orgasm.  It was pure euphoria, I saw it in his eyes.  

    “And now… well, I have to admit I’m glad you hadn’t already had your release when I woke you just now.  I’m glad that I’m going to get to see it, see that blissed out look of euphoria.  It’s just, the look on Mikey’s face, the way his eyes went all peaceful and innocent when it happened, I just loved seeing that look, seeing that change.  And now I’m going to get to see it again on your face.”  

    I shook my head.  “Mikey didn’t know what was going to happen though, did he?”  

    “No,” Adam agreed. 

    “Well I do now.  And I’m not just going to let that happen!”  

    “There’s no reason to put it off Sam.  It’s irreversible now and inevitable.  It’s best to just let it be done with.  Just reach down under those sheets, make that second stain right now.  Then we can get those shorts and undies off, let you enjoy some nakey time before daycare.  That’s part of the programming too, making you my lovely little nudist.”  

    I didn’t want Adam or anyone else seeing me naked.  But at the same time, the very thought of it did make me horny.  I couldn’t help it and the little tent in the sheets didn’t escape Adam’s attention.  

    “That’s right Sam, you’re going to be my jaybird.  Isn’t that silly, after how modest and well dressed you’ve been.  I made the programme for Mikey and he was never really that uptight.  But there’s no question it will work for you too.  You’ll be just as big an exhibitionist as Mikey.  

    “I love answering the door for deliveries with him right there behind me, let them all get a little show, tell them I’m sorry, that my boy is special, that he’s disabled.  Tell them how I just can’t keep clothes on him.  

    “And soon you’ll be right there next to him, waving to the courier driver, your pee-pee bouncing around for him to see.”  

    He knew what he was doing.  He wasn’t mocking me, torturing me for pleasure.  No, he knew those thoughts were arousing me now, driven by his programming.  He was trying to push me over the edge, make me cream my undies right now.  And damn it, those horrifying thoughts did make me so horny.  

    “Why are you doing this?!” I demanded.  

    Adam patted my shoulder again. “The daycare is all set to do your intake in just a couple hours.  I need today to get everything ready to transition you to your new life.  I’ve already scheduled a doctor’s appointment, to have you diagnosed as profoundly intellectually impaired, start the ball rolling to be appointed your guardian.  

    “It’s a lot of work for me.  But you won’t need to worry about any of that if you just make your creamies for me now.  You’ll just have a nice fun day playing with Mikey, making new friends at daycare.  No more responsibilities for you at all.”

    “They all saw me yesterday, they know I’m normal,” I pointed out.  

    Adam shrugged.  “Yes, and they’re all quite happy to help you adjust to your new life.  I don’t think you’ll be getting too much special treatment though.  They have a whole facility of special boys and girls and by the time you arrive, you’ll be just another disabled boy.  They’ll help you put your clothes in your cubby so you’re comfy for play.  They’ll keep you busy while us grown-ups work.”  

    No more work.  No more apartment, never mind saving for a home of my own.  Adam was telling me my life was going to be just like Mikey’s now.  Jesus, playing on my hands and knees in the kiddy play area at Harold’s.  Crawling around between the tables with my bare feet up for everyone to see.  Everyone I knew would see me reduced to this empty-eyed moron with dirty bare feet, messy hair and stained clothes.  

    “What are my friends, my co-workers going to think happened?” I gasped.  

    “Carbon monoxide poisoning, causing serious brain damage.  They’ll all be very sympathetic.  Maybe some will help babysit you and Mikey from time to time.  You won’t just disappear, some of them, the real friends, will still be in your life.  

    “Here look at this,” he said, taking out his phone, scrolling to something.  

    “What?” 

    “It’s a private Facebook group we have, for us caregivers.  Look at this album.”  

    He showed me a photo of an unhappy looking man of about forty in a suit, posing with a number of other people in an office. He was a bit overweight, badly balding with hair going grey at the temples.  He looked pretty boring and ordinary really.  

    “My friend Mary’s husband.  He was an insurance agent.  This was his office.  After he had his programming, she still brought him back for visits.”  

    The next photo showed the same man in the same office.  All the same co-workers were gathered around him.  But now Mary’s husband was sitting on the floor on his bottom.  His suit was gone.  He wore a t-shirt and pair of grey sweatpants.  But he was also barefoot, and the blackened soles of his feet were on full display to the camera.  His head had been shaved and a drool bib was around his neck, protecting his t-shirt.  But he also now had a huge, gaping grin on his face.  He looked utterly delighted to be sitting there with his former co-workers literally looking down on him.  

    He flicked the screen and the next photo was so much worse.  The same man was there, but now he was squatting buck naked next to a bright red plastic potty seat.  It was impossible to miss his shaved, smooth penis hanging between his legs as he gaped slack-jawed into the potty seat, apparently trying to see what was inside.  And above him, smiling down at him, was a woman from the office photo, some co-worker now seeing him nude and apparently being potty-trained.  

    “Jesus!” I grunted.  

    “That’s his former personal assistant, Lisa.  She babysits him whenever she can, takes excellent care of him.  So you see your life will change, but it isn’t over completely.”  

    There were other photos.  A handsome young doctor in his scrubs.  Flick the screen and he’s sitting in a doctor’s office on a bench, but now he’s completely nude and has his foot tightly in his hands, pulled awkwardly up to his face, his big toe firmly between his lips, sucking away at it with crossed eyes.  The caption read:

    Billy waiting for the doctor to arrive for his incompetence exam.  Needless to say it was a quick session lol! Little guy showed the doctor how much he loves his toes these days. 

    Then I noticed something interesting.  It was an album with hundreds of photos, and recently updated.  And it was called “The Look.”  

    It was just what I feared.  Photos of men and women at the moment of their triggering, or just after.  The captions told the story.  For many the chosen trigger was a word or phrase.  For others a physical action.  

    Ejaculation wasn’t something unique Adam had come up with though.  On the first page I saw four examples of it.  Four men who were sitting completely nude with glistening gooey streaks down their front sides.  Their penises were all still erect.  Two of them were squatting on a floor.  The other two sat on their butts, legs splayed wide apart.    One had a splash of cum dangling from his chin.  They were obviously all huge releases.  

    And all four had what they called “the look.”  They were totally slack-jawed, their eyes wide and empty, pupil dilated, drool running down their chins.  

    And each was followed by the “after” photo, apparently all taken a minute or two after the trigger.  Their penises were all soft in the after photos, but the cum was still visible, still shiny.  Two of the men were in mid hop, jumping up and down, arms flailing out, penises visibly flopping.  Both had utterly ecstatic expressions.  Gaping, open-mouthed grins, relaxed facial features, innocent eyes.  The third man was still on the floor, but now his toes were in his mouth and he seemed utterly entranced by them. 

    The fourth was suddenly outside, in a driveway, still naked though, in full view of a street.  He was flapping his hand at a cherry red sports car, an ear to ear grin on his face.  

    Saying bye-byes to his old car. What a happy boy!  

    “Your photos will be on there soon sweetie,” Adam told me.  “Everyone will see your happy face.”  

    I shoved the phone under the blankets, into my shorts pocket.  This was all the proof I needed.  

    “No way!” I snapped, throwing off the covers and getting up.  “You’re nuts if you think I’m just going to let that happen.  I’m horny, yeah, but I’m not a teenager, I can hold it in.  And I’m going to a doctor, a professional hypnotist, whoever I can find and get this programming undone.”

    Adam stepped back towards the door, but he didn’t look as nervous as I would have liked.  

    “You don’t want to do this,” he told me.  

    “Get out of my way Adam, or I’ll have to make you move” I threatened. 

    He stepped aside, but said, “I wanted it to be your decision and I was hoping to have it done here, in your room.  This will be your bed too, shared with your brother.” 

    “He’s not going to be my brother.”  

    Adam frowned.  “I’m sorry Sam, but he is.  It’s squirt-squirt time Mikey.”  

    I blinked, feeling odd, feeling floaty.  

    “Sorry, it was designed for Mikey specifically.  I never intended this to happen to you.  I really didn’t.  But I also can’t leave you on your own with the programming waiting to be triggered, and I can’t let you leave and go blabbing about it now that you know.”  

    My penis grew larger and stiffer than I thought possible.  The arousal that washed over me was beyond anything I could recall.  Holy shit, my shorts were tented right out.  I couldn’t help but grunt.  I actually moaned out loud.  

    “Ohhh, fuck me.”  

    Adam patted my shoulder again.  

    “I promise I wasn’t lying.  It’s going to feel so good Sam.  Frankly I’m a bit jealous of you.  Seeing all those photos on Facebook, I can’t deny long being curious about how it actually feels.  I know it must be wonderful, but you’re going to actually experience it.  

    “And afterwards, I promise, I’ll take great care of you.  And Mikey will be a great brother, I’m sure.”  

    The pressure was building so fast in my balls.  It was like instant blue-balls and only getting worse.  Fuck, I felt like they might just explode if I didn’t empty them.  I could feel the pain spreading up into my pelvis, into my lower abdomen.  It was like I’d been edging for 12 straight hours and hadn’t jacked off in two weeks before that.  

    If the programme could cause these physical sensations, I could no longer have any doubt it had worked on me, that it was real, that it could affect my mind.  

    “Shit, shit, shit!” I gasped, pushing Adam hard, getting to the door and leaving the room.  

    I had to get out of here, I had to tell someone.  I could barely think, the need was so strong, the need for that release.  Pain and pleasure still building with every single step.  My penis was tingling too.  I needed to let the cum out.  But I had to tell someone, let them know it wasn’t some accident.  Make sure they knew it was done to me, that I’m not just some intellectually disabled man.  

    I reached the living room and froze.  Mikey was there, sitting bare bottomed on the carpet, legs splayed apart.  But there was a woman, who must have been Mary, Adam’s friend, sitting on the couch, smiling at me.  It had to be Mary, even though I’d never seen her.  Because her husband was squatting on the floor across from Mikey, plucking at his toes.  He was just as naked too, mooning his wife.  

    “Ah, you must be Sam,” she greeted me.  “Adam called us over for a little playdate, help you with the transition.  But he did warn me you might not be quite ready to play.  But that’s okay, I can see you’re almost there.  Almost ready to join the others.  There’s just one thing that I think you need to see.”

    I shook my head, but I couldn’t move another step.  My balls hurt too much.  And she was walking towards me, phone in her hand.  

    “My Danny was like you.  Very formal, very uptight.  But then he saw that lovely show.  And look how happy it made him,” she cooed.  

    She held up the phone, showing me the photo of Danny sitting on a bed, nude with his legs splayed, cum all over his big round tummy, toes curled, head thrown back and yes, he had the look, the slack-jawed, glazed eyed expression.  

    And seeing it made me even hornier.  It was just too much.  I had to make the pain and urge go away.  I jammed my hand down my shorts, closed my fingers around the warm, hard rod that was my penis.  And I stroked vigorously.  

    “There we go, that’s a good boy,” she cooed, running her fingers over my cheek.  

    It took all of five seconds.  I let loose with a spurt so hard it felt like it would splatter the ceiling.  

    “Ugh! Ohhhh! Mmmmm!”  

    Jerk after jerk, spasm after spasm, it was incredible, it was the greatest feeling ever.  It was a hundred times more intense than a normal orgasm.  I was emptying my balls, I was emptying my head, emptying my very being.  

    “Let’s get these out of the way,” Mary said, and I felt her yank my shorts and undies down, felt them drop to my ankles.  

    Danny and Mikey were both looking, watching me keep stroking, watching the ropes of cum lash through the air, splatter across the carpet, across my feet, my tummy, my chest.  

    “Good job Sammy, let it all out for Daddy.”  

    Adam was there too now, patting my back, looking down at my erupting penis.  

    Mary was getting her phone ready.  Oh God, she was going to take the photo for Facebook.  I was going to be seen like this by the whole group!  It was so shameful.  I began to blush, began to shiver.  

    And then came a sensation I’d never experienced.  It wasn’t sexual, but it was a release.  It was sudden, it was intense.  And it took away the shame, the blush, the worry. What a relief.  And then, it took away the understanding.  So merciful, such a blessing.  In that instant, I lost my comprehension of what was happening, of what I was losing.  And that felt so, so good.  That was true, total peace.  

    The lady took a photo of me then.  She smiled and the light on the phone flashed.  

    “It really is beautiful,” Daddy told her, looking at me.  

    “It truly is,” she agreed.  

    More nice tingles from my doodle, more squirts.  And then it’s over.  I’m all messy, all gooey.  My doodle is tired.  It goes nighty-nights.  

    “There we go, let’s get you cleaned up so you can play.  Doesn’t that sound nice?” Daddy says.  

    Play does sound nice.  I like to play.  

    “Yeff Daddy,” I agree.  

    Daddy does clean me up.  He uses the nice wet cloths and then all the gooeys are gone.  

    “Let’s get rid of these too,” he says, helping me lift my feet out of the shorts and undies on the floor.  “My little jaybird boy is much more comfy nakey, aren’t you Sammy?”  

    I’ve never been so certain of something.  I love being nakey.  Yes, it feels so wonderful being all free, having the air on my skin. And the best thing of all is how my doodle bounces around when I move.  

    Mikey points to me and smiles.  “Sammy gotta bounthy doodle!” he announced.  

    “Bounthy doodle!” I repeated in agreement.  Yes, everyone thought it was funny.  

    I wish I got to have a bouncy doodle all the time, but I had to put on clothes for going to daycare.  I have to go to daycare because little boys can’t be home all alone and Daddy and the other lady need to work.  Grown-ups go to work.  Little boys go to play at daycare.  I’m sure work is boring and bad.  I don’t know how I know that, but I just do.  

    **

    I used to be big.  I forgot that for a little while.  But then I remembered.  I was big like Daddy.  I was a big boy.  No, I was bigger than that.  I was grown-up.  I can remember some things, like I can picture my home.  And I know I had a car and I sat in the front seat, not the back, and I even drove it.  And I had big clothes and shoes and I even worked.  

    But I don’t remember what work I did or where.  I can picture the office, but that’s it.  I remember I had shoes, but I don’t know what they felt like to wear.  I don’t got shoes now. I’m little and Daddy says little boys need to have little boy feeties.  I don’t miss shoes cuz I don’t remember them anyway and I know bare feet feels so, so nice.  I get to feel the dirt and the mud tween my toes and the soft grass and warm pavement and Daddy don’t feel none of that.  I’m sure bare feeties is better.  

    People I used to know when I was big come and see me sometimes.  Sometimes I know their names.  But usually that’s all I remember, except what they look like.  They’re always really nice to me though.  I must have had a lot of friends.  I like it when they visit me at home.  Daddy thinks it’s so funny when I show them my bouncy doodle.  I’m always nakey at home cuz it’s so comfy and my doodle bounces and I like showing my old friends because they look so silly when I do that!  I like their funny faces.  Sometimes they go all red.   

    I don’t know why I got little, but I remember when it happened.  I remember it felt really, really good.  It was the best feeling I’ve ever felt.  So I’m sure it was a good thing and Daddy tells me so and Daddy loves me and takes care of me.  I love Daddy and I love my brother Mikey.  We cuddle all the time.  We get all splashy in the bathy together, then Daddy tucks us in and we snuggle up under the covers while he reads to us.  I try to be good, take turns with Mikey at turning pages, at being Daddy’s special helper.  

    If we don’t fall asleep while Daddy’s reading, we usually snuggle up even tighter, and our doodles touch.  That feels really nice.  I think it’s the very best feeling in the world.  Mikey likes it too.  It’s okay for us to enjoy our bodies.  Daddy says so.  Me and Mikey rub and rub and his doodle brushing across mine makes me tingle all over, right up into my noggin.  Until I have to make sticky pees.  Mikey squirts his creamies too and we’re such messy boys.  But Daddy doesn’t mind.  He cleans us up every morning.  Daddy knows how to fix everything. 

     I want to stay with Daddy and Mikey forever and ever.  

    **

    Adam flicked through his favourite album on his phone once again.  There it was, his favourite photo, the one Mary snapped for him.  Sammy standing in the living room, shorts around his ankles, penis so erect it was almost touching his belly button, streaks of cum all over his front-side.  And the look on his face… just like the others.  She’d caught the moment he lost all his smarts, all his big grown-up thoughts and abilities.  He had that expression of slack-jawed wonder, eyes totally glazed over, head lolling to his right side.  Hard to believe it had been three months since that night.  

    The doorbell interrupted Adam’s reminiscing.  He headed to the door and greeted Brian.  The twenty-nine year old man had been Sam’s poker buddy.  He was one of the better friends, agreeing to come by and babysit his former mate for the night.  He looked more than a little nervous about it though. 

    “Thanks so much for this,” Adam told him.  “I know it’s strange for you.  But Sammy will really appreciate being watched by someone familiar.”  

    “No worries,” Brain replied.  “It’s the very least I can do. I can’t imagine having him full time like you do.  It’s really incredible.”  

    “Well to be fair he’s at daycare during the days, so it isn’t twenty-four seven,” Adam assured him.  

    “Still, it’s a lot and I’m just happy to help out as much as I can.  Sam was always a good mate.”  

    “He really was.  And he’s still eager to be your buddy, though in a different way of course,” Adam told him.  

    Brian followed him into the living room, pausing and going wide eyed as he saw the two men already there.  Mikey and Sammy were down on their hands and knees, side by side.  Two big bare bottoms presented themselves to the room.  He could see both Mikey and Sammy’s balls and penises clearly dangling between their thighs, unencumbered, smooth and hairless.  The soles of their feet were dirty brown, thick and toughened, like leather.  

    Brian had seen his old friend twice since his accident.  Once by chance at the supermarket and once for a meet-up at a cafe.  Both times Sammy had been dressed in a t-shirt, shorts and bare feet.  So the state of his soles wasn’t too surprising.  But his nudity hadn’t been expected.  

    “Oh… he’s… um…” Brian muttered.  

    Adam couldn’t help but grin.  He loved showing his boys off like this, showing old friends how silly and simple they were.  Brian was already blushing and that made Adam’s cock swell in his pants.  

    “Yes they’re little nudists I’m afraid.  It’s just impossible to keep clothes on either of them.”  

    “Oh yeah… it’s just, Sam was always so… y’know, well dressed…” 

    Adam chuckled.  “Yes, he was a very formal man.  But you have to understand that Sam is long gone.  He’s just simple little Sammy now.  He’s a toddler in a big body.  And toddlers don’t have any concept of modesty.”  

    Brian nodded and continued into the room.  

    “Mikey, Sammy, come say hello to your babysitter,” Adam prompted.  

    The two naked men spun around.  Sammy looked up at his old poker friend, settling in a squatting position, chewing on the Batman action figure he’d been playing with, wedging the legs deep into his mouth.  

    Adam always wondered at moments like this if something would click in Sammy’s head.  Would seeing an old friend trigger something, some echo of his adult thoughts?  

    “Hi there Sam… er, Sammy.  Do you remember me? It’s Brian,” the babysitter greeted his old friend.  

    Sammy let the Batman toy drop to the floor. He gaped open-mouthed at Adam and announced, “Daz Bwian.”  

    Adam nodded.  “It sure is.  Do you remember him?”  

    Sammy nodded.  “Bwian fwiend!” he chirped happily, then stood up and hurried across the room to his old buddy, his dangling penis bouncing back and forth, until he threw his arms around the awkward looking man and gave him a big cuddle.  

    Brian gently patted his old friend’s bare back, waiting for the squeeze to end. Adam just shook his head.  Nope, not a flicker of awareness from poor little Sammy.  

    “Well, you all have a good evening and you boys be good for Brian, okay?” 

    Mikey and Sammy nodded seriously, with the latter finally releasing poor Brian from the cuddle. Both boys gave their Daddy a big good-bye cuddle and then it was all left to Brian.  

    “So what do you boys want to do?” Brian asked, still looking quite uncertain about the whole situation, still trying to avoid looking at the two naked men’s penises, especially his old friend’s.  

    Sammy smiled broadly.  Somehow, instinctively, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. 

    “Lez watch toons!”  

    The End

    mind-wiper

    Story idea by Galloway2017

    Witness Protection

    They called him Vinnie the Mouth because he talked a lot, but in the end his mouth was their downfall because he squealed.  It wasn’t like he wanted to be a rat, he had been given no other choice.  Jimmy Marconi, his long-time boss, had put a hit out on him, all over his running a tiny little protection racket on the side.  He was taking initiative, they should have been impressed.  

    In any case his career in organised crime seemed to have come to a screeching and permanent end.  Two months stuck in a flea-bag motel off the interstate had been followed up by a stellar court performance.  He made sure they knew they’d fucked with the wrong guy.  He knew where all the bodies were buried… literally.  After all he’d put a few of them there himself.  

    The kind of shit he admitted to in court would normally get a guy a lifetime sentence.  But he’d gone to the feds himself.  They had nothing on him, so they had to pay a high price for his full cooperation.  Full immunity, and a guarantee of witness protection somewhere far away, and somewhere with a warmer climate than Chicago.  

    But to be honest when he asked for somewhere warmer, he’d been imagining California, or even Florida.  Which is why he was more than a little disappointed when Special Agent Garcia pulled off the highway and headed deep down some winding, country roads into the most backwoods part of Appalachian Tennessee.  This was major redneck territory.  He’d have to set up a moonshine operation to make money here.  

    Things were looking down already, but then the car turned down a dirt driveway, winding up through a thick stand of trees that hid the property from the small country road it sat upon.  

    “Here we are!” Agent Garcia announced happily.  Too happily in Vinnie’s opinion.  

    Garcia didn’t like Vinnie, that was no secret.  It would have been weird if the fed had liked the gangster.  So if Garcia was happy, Vinnie knew it couldn’t be good for him.  

    “Where the fuck are we, Garcia?” he demanded.  

    “The ass end of nowhere, Tennessee,” Garcia replied cheerily.  “This is going to be your new home for the foreseeable future.”  

    “This is bullshit Garcia, and you know it.  I’m going to talk with Landau,” Vinnie threatened.  

    “Go ahead, he approved the assignment.”  

    Shit, Garcia seemed pretty certain.  This was going to suck.  

    They cleared the trees, revealing an old farmhouse, a small barn next to it, surrounded by an expansive yard.  Vinnie saw a couple chickens pecking around the dirt in front of the house.  Wow, this really was the worst.  

    And then it got even worse.  

    A man came running out of the woods just to their right.  He was a tall, strongly built man, probably in his thirties, with a shaved head.  He was wearing a pair of blue-jean bib overalls, shirtless, with the legs cuffed up over bare feet.  He was grinning like a fool, racing to keep alongside the car, waving frantically to them.  He looked mentally challenged.  Or perhaps seriously inbred.  Vinnie wondered if the man had many teeth.  

    “This is some Deliverance bullshit Garcia!” Vinnie roared.  

    Garcia just laughed and laughed, pulling the car to a stop in front of the house.  

    The bald man in overalls planted himself alongside Vinnie’s window, patting it with his palms and hopping up and down on those bare feet, giggling and saying, “Hi! Hi! Hi!”  

    Vinnie was a bit nervous to get out.  The man was even bigger up close.  Sure Vinnie was a tough guy, but he usually let his gun do the talking or sent in one of his enforcers.  This guy probably had the strength of the stupid.  

    The door to the farmhouse opened and another man emerged.  This man was older, likely in his forties, well built but only average height, with a full head of dark hair but graying temples.  He was also wearing overalls, but he had on a long-sleeved plaid shirt and workboots as well.  

    “Well hello there!” he greeted them.  “Bobby, get yer butt back and let the poor boy out of the car!” he called to the bald man.  

    Bobby pouted like a small child, but stepped back as instructed.  “Yes Pa,” he said.  

    “Good boy,” the older man praised him, like he really was a small child.  

    Vinnie got out of the car, feeling the oppressive heat and humidity wash over him at once.  God, the AC really had hidden their descent into the South.  

    “Welcome home Vinnie,” the older man greeted him.  

    Vinnie awkwardly extended his hand, feeling the touch calluses on the other man’s dirty hands as they shook.  He reflexively wiped off some of the transferred grime on his thigh.  

    The man chuckled.  “Oh boy, you best get used to gettin’ dirty.  You ain’t gonna be all clean like this again for a long, long time.”  

    Bobby giggled at that as well.  

    “He’s awll cwean Pa!” he chimed in.  “He gonna look diff’rent when he awll dirty!”  

    Vinnie looked the man-child over more closely, seeing that he was in fact much dirtier than the father.  His body odor smelled even from a foot away.  His hands looked like he’d been making mud pies.  His bare feet were absolutely filthy, grime caked under each toe.  God he was a mess.  

    “I take pride in my appearance,” Vinnie cooly replied, running a hand through his well styled black hair.  

    “Well, we’ll just see how long that lasts,” Pa declared.  

    “Okay Vinnie, you’re all set,” Garcia jumped in, dropping the one bag he’d been allowed at his feet.  “You keep safe now, and if you have any problems at all, feel free to call us.”  

    It was an odd thing to say, but obviously totally insincere.  What did that mean then? That they wouldn’t take his calls?  If they wouldn’t, he’d have no choice but to walk away from witness protection and take his chances.  He couldn’t stay here long term.  

    Garcia got back into the car, wasting no time in pulling back down the driveway, smiling the whole time.  

    “Okay then, let’s get you inside and get you changed out of those city clothes,” Pa declared.  

    Vinnie shook his head.  “Look Pops…”

    “It’s Pa,” the man corrected.  

    “Whatever.  You’re only what, ten years older than me though, so it’s a little weird to have me calling you Pa, don’t you think?”  

    “All my boys call me Pa.  Bobby’s about the same age as you.  He calls me Pa,” the man explained.  

    All his boys?  

    “Are there more of you here?” Vinnie asked.  

    “Oh yes. Jason and Chris are around here somewhere.  Jason! Chris! C’mon out ‘nd meet the new boy!” he called.  

    Two more men quickly emerged from the barn and Vinnie’s jaw actually dropped.  He’d seen a lot of fucked up stuff in his time in the maffia.  But this… this took the fucking cake and then some.  

    The first man was a bit younger, maybe twenty-five, skinny with buzz-cut blonde hair.  He was wearing a pair of undies that seemed to be covered in dinosaur designs, like a little boy’s.  That was all he wore though.  The rest of his body was bare and he was every bit as dirty as Bobby.  

    Right behind him though was a tubby man, somewhere between the skinny man’s age and Bobby’s.  Like Bobby his head had been totally shaved.  He was also completely naked. He’d been shaved all over in fact.  His balls had been shaved too, he was all smooth down there, his penis just bouncing free.  All tubby and smooth and naked, he really looked like a massive toddler.  

    “Daz da new boy Pa?” the man in the undies asked, pointing rudely right at Vinnie.  

    But Vinnie could see the man was oblivious to manners of any kind.  His eyes also lacked any flicker of intelligence.  They were dull and glassy, and yes he was missing several teeth, visible as he stood there slack-jawed.  

    “Yes Chris, this is Vinnie, he’s our newest little family member,” Pa answered. 

    The naked man, who had to be Jason, suddenly and inexplicably blew a big, wet raspberry at Vinnie, before grinning at his joke, spittle dribbling down his chin.  

    “Don’t be silly to the new boy, Jason,” Pa chided him.  

    “Sowwy Pa,” Jason said, twisting his dirty toes in the soil and nibbling on one of his fingers.  

    “So, all your boys are…” he almost said retards, but reminded himself he needed to stay here at least a little while.  Don’t piss them off right away if possible.  

    “They’re all disabled?” he asked.  

    “Oh we don’t think of it like that,” Pa told him.  “They’re special boys, that’s all.  And they’re all very happy, very good boys for their Pa.”  

    All three of the men grinned and squirmed like hyperactive little boys, drinking in what they evidently took as praise.  

    “And you let them… um… wear whatever clothes they feel like?” 

    For a moment Vinnie was sure the redneck bastard would be offended.  But Pa just chuckled again.  

    “Well not exactly.  They have outfits for if we got to go to town and a special outfit for church.  But at home, well I’ll explain the rules to you shortly.  We got to get you inside, show you your room and get you changed into your home clothes.”  

    “I’m quite happy dressed as I am, thanks,” Vinnie told him.  

    Pa looked him up and down, clearly finding that very funny.  Okay, so the expensive Italian shoes and suit he was wearing weren’t for a farm.  And he didn’t really want to mess them all up walking around here.  But he wasn’t putting on any clothes this guy thought was more appropriate either.  

    “Just c’mon in and we’ll get you settled,” Pa said, leading him up the steps onto the porch.  

    Vinnie followed him inside.  The house was pretty clean actually, better than he’d expected given the outside.  

    “So you expect me to help you with taking care of the… special men?” Vinnie asked, not really prepared to deal with retarded inbred rednecks like that.  

    “No, no, not at all,” Pa assured him right away.  “That’s my job and mine alone.”  

    Vinnie breathed a sigh of relief.  

    They entered a bedroom and Vinnie saw there were two beds in the room.  One had clearly been occupied for some time by one of the boys, as Pa called them.  There were small children’s toys cluttering the floor between the beds and the sheets were car and truck themed.  

    The other bed was clean and made up.  And lying across it was a single item, a simple white tank-top, a wife-beater some would call it.  

    “There you go Vinnie,” Pa said.  “That’s your bed, and you can leave your bag downstairs.  I’ll deal with it later.  Everything you need is right here in this room, in the closet and dresser.  I got some clothes in there for church and town.  But I don’t want you going in there, gettin’ them on, gettin’ them dirty.”

    “I’m sorry?” 

    “It’s natural for farm boys to be messy, to get themselves dirty. They’re always playin’ in the barn, wrestlin’ with each other, and with the pigs too.  They get messy doin’ their chores, the get messy eatin’ their dinner.  And four boys means a lot of laundry if they’re gettin’ their clothes messy.  

    “So, y’all got one outfit for home, but y’all got to share it,” Pa told him.  

    Vinnie was totally confused now.  “Share it? Share an outfit?”  

    Pa nodded. “Today Bobby’s got them overalls.  Chris got the undies and I saved the shirt for you.  Jason don’t mind though, he liked bein’ nekkid more ‘n anything else.  With four boys there always gonna be one a you nekkid.  Well at least one.  No rule that you gotta wear your part of the outfit,” Pa explained with another chuckle.  

    “You can’t mean… you, don’t expect me to take off all my clothes and put on that wife-beater and what, that’s it?” 

    To his utter shock, Pa nodded instantly.  “You get changed out of those city clothes before they get ruined.  I’ll take them down to goodwill when we go to town in a couple days.  Get changed quick, then come on down to the kitchen and we’ll give you a haircut.”  

    Vinnie jerked backwards reflexively, as thought the scissors were coming for his hair right then.  

    “Look man, I got my hair just how I like it.  No one touches my hair, you got that,” he warned, using his most menacing tone.  This guy didn’t know who he was fucking with.  

    But Pa wasn’t deterred at all.  

    “Hair on little boys just gets filthy, gets matted, gets infested with lice.  It gets in your eyes, gets all sweaty when you’re playin’, when you’re explorin’ and doin’ yer chores.  Easier to get rid of it.

    “Now hurry up, we got to go on our walk too.  The boys are all excited for it.”  

    “Walk? Where are you planning to walk to?”  

    “Oh we have a nice trail that goes up onto the mountain behind the house.  It’s real quiet, no tourists or anything around here.  It’s a rough one, but that’s just the point.  We need to start getting your feet toughened up.  It’ll be sore at first, sorry to tell you, but it won’t take no time at all ‘nd you’ll be able to run over gravel like the others.  

    “But we gotta get your feet used to it, so a nice long walk up the mountain will get you started.  It’s gonna feel so nice Vinnie, especially since you’ll be nice and cool in your new outfit, no hair to get in your eyes.”  

    “Get my feet used to it? What does that even mean?”  

    “Well none of my boys have shoes, not even for church.  Around here it’s pretty much expected for little boys to be barefoot.  Keeps ‘em surer on their feet, makes climbin’ the trees easier and saves buyin’ boots for the barn.”  

    Vinnie had heard enough.  The old bastard wanted him to be like these morons he cared for.  He actually thought he’d enjoy a half-naked, barefooted walk in the woods.  

    “Just stop right there man.  None of that is going to happen.  I’m not stripping naked and walking around with my cock flapping in the breeze for you to see.  I’m not letting you touch my hair. I’m not going for a stupid walk, and definitely not barefoot.  

    “You don’t seem to get that I’m not a retard like those other guys.  I’m not an inbred hick with an undeveloped brain.  I’m actually a pretty smart guy.  I ran a lot of rackets back in Chicago.  People knew not to fuck with me.  I don’t need you to take care of me.  I can take care of myself just fine!”  

    “Okay, okay, okay, just calm down now,” Pa urged.  “Look, I know you aren’t like my boys.  I get that Vinnie, I do.  And I seen your file. I know what you done, what you can do.”  

    Vinnie nodded, finally glad to have a little respect.  

    “I’m not a rich guy like you.  The only valuable thing I even have is this pocket watch, passed down from my grandpa to my pa to me.”  

    He fished the tarnished, old pocket watch out of the pocket of his overalls.  Pa held it up for Vinnie to see more closely and Vinnie wondered what the piece of junk would bring at a pawn shop.  Probably not nearly as much as this idiot thought it was worth.  

    “I cherish this pocket watch, mostly for the sentimental value,” Pa admitted.  “But also because it has helped me to build a loving family.”  

    Pa pressed a button and the lid of the pocket watch flicked open.  But inside it wasn’t a clock face.  It was a digital screen, something much newer than the outside of the watch.  And it was filled with these strange swirling colors.  So bright, so eye-catching.  Vinnie didn’t even hear Pa still talking, he was just looking at the swirl of colors.  

    “It’s so pretty ain’t it?” Pa whispered.  

    He was standing next to Vinnie now, patting his arm gently.  Vinnie found himself nodding.  Yes, it was very pretty.  

    “Each of my boys saw my pretty pocket watch on their first day here,” he went on.  “They weren’t so different from you before that.  They were smart, they were all so independent, so confident.  And then they saw this pretty watch.  Don’t worry Vinnie, it feels good, doesn’t it?”  

    Vinnie did feel good.  It felt so peaceful now. All his other thoughts and worries were just gone.  There was just the pretty watch and Pa’s voice, echoing around his head.  His muscles were all getting nicely relaxed too.  His whole body was just losing its tension.  

    “Yeah,” Vinnie mumbled, so relaxed now, it was hard to even speak.  

    “Yes, it feels lovely. They all saw the pocket watch just like you.  And then they changed out of their city clothes into farm boy clothes.  They got their haircuts, they went for their walks and they became a part of the family.

    “Jason was the last one to join us.  He was a banker before.  He didn’t want his farm clothes either when he saw them.  But after he saw the pocket watch he still didn’t want them, but for a totally different reason.  After our lovely, sleepy talk, he didn’t want clothes at all, silly boy.”  

    Somewhere in his head Vinnie felt alarm bells going off.  He needed to stop looking at the watch.  He needed to get out of here.  But his body wasn’t responding.  His muscles were all relaxed, all asleep, his arms and feet heavy as stones.  

    “Don’t… don’t wanna forget…” he managed to slur.  

    “Oh you won’t forget everything, I promise you that.  No, you’ll still know who you used to be.  I won’t take that away from you Vinnie.  But you are going to need to forget a lot about how to be that person.  You’ll need to forget things a simple farm boy doesn’t need to know, like how to drive, or how to read, or how to tie a pair of shoes.  Course you won’t have any shoes to tie anyway.

    “We need to make sure that you need your Pa.  Make sure you mind your Pa, appreciate your Pa.  Make sure you only got the simplest of thoughts, ‘bout playin’ with your brothers, doin’ your chores, gettin’ nice and messy.”  

    Vinnie managed to shake his head.  It took a lot of effort.  His eyelids were drifting half closed, but he still couldn’t look away from the swirl of colors, even as his chin came closer and closer to resting on his chest.  

    “That’s it Vinnie, you’re almost there buddy.  Just let go buddy, let your eyes drift shut and let it all go.  You’ll have the most lovely nap, it won’t feel like long at all to you.  And when you wake up, you’ll be special just like the other boys.  Your head will be nice and empty, nice and clean, the opposite of how your outside will be from now on,” he added with a laugh.  

    “I know you think you can fight it honey, but you just can’t.  All the other boys let their chins touch their chests, let their eyes close and when they woke up, they were silly and simple and ready to be my good farm boys.  

    “It’s much better this way.  They don’t even remember the naughty things they did before.  Now they’re innocent.  It’s a relief for them, and it will be for you too darling.  Soon you’ll have the most innocent of eyes.”  

    Vinnie felt horror flashing through his mind.  He didn’t want to be innocent and utterly helpless.  Jesus, others would see him too, when they went to town, or church.  And Agent Garcia had made a point of telling him he’d visit from time to time, see how he was enjoying his new life.  He understood what he meant now.  He was looking forward to seeing Vinnie reduced to idiocy.  

    That couldn’t be his new life!  It just couldn’t.  He wasn’t going to go to sleep.  He wasn’t going to let this fucker do this to him.  

    “Deep sleep Vinnie.  Deep peaceful sleep,” Pa whispered, gently pressing his head downward until his chin touched his chest and his eyes got so heavy and they drifted closed.  It felt so good to finally drift off to sleep.  

    **

    Vinnie’s eyes fluttered open.  He was still standing up, but no longer in the bedroom.  They were in another room, facing a mirror, so he could see what he looked like now.  

    He gazed into the mirror, looking first at his smooth head, his hair all shaved away.  His fancy suit and Italian shoes were gone too.  He was wearing the tank-top now, but that was all.  It was a bit small for him, only just reaching his belly-button, leaving his penis fully visible, soft between his legs. It was smooth too. Pa had shaved him all over apparently.  

    Vinnie looked down at his feet, wriggled his toes experimentally against the wood floor of the farmhouse, feeling it under his soles, getting used to it.  

    Pa’s hand pressed the middle of his back.  

    “What you looking at there Vinnie?” he asked.  

    “Toes,” Vinnie answered.  

    “Oh yes, toes are interesting.  You should have a closer look, honey.  It’s okay, go ahead and sit on your bum.”   

    Vinnie sat on his bottom, feeling the floor under it as well.  He took one foot into his hands, looking at it, wiggling the toes again.  His eyes widened.  Toes were so interesting.  He wanted to do something else with them, but he stopped.  That was silly.  That was dumb.  

    Pa got down on his level, put a supportive hand on his shoulder.  He looked over at Pa, confused by his urges, by how fascinating he found his toes.  

    “It’s okay Vinnie, go ahead,” Pa assured him.  

    It’s a huge relief to know it’s okay.  He pulls the foot to his mouth, puts the big toe between his lips and tastes it, explores it with his tongue, jams two more toes in there, slurps at them as Pa watches and nods encouragingly.  

    Finally they come out with a pop, a line of drool slips out too, he feels it running down his chin, dripping on his chest.  

    “Why I wike toes Pa?” he asked the man.  

    Pa ran a hand gently over his smooth head.  It felt lovely to Vinnie, felt so soothing.  

    “You were such a good boy for me Vinnie.  You looked at my special pocket watch and had a wonderful, long nap.  And we took away all the smarts in your silly little head.  So now you’re just a little boy honey.  

    “You’re a very little boy inside a big boy’s body.  But it’s okay because I know you’re all little inside.  And it’s okay to do little boy things, to enjoy little boy stuff, like playing with your toesies,” Pa explained. 

    Vinnie nodded his head.  He remembered going to sleep now.  He’d had a nice nap and Pa had helped him forget all his naughty things.  He was certain he’d been a naughty boy before.  But he couldn’t begin to recall what it was he’d done that was so bad.  Pa had taken the burden away.  And now he was little inside.  Yes, he felt little. Pa was telling the truth.  

    “Okay honey, let’s go for our walk now. After that your feet will be awfully dirty and those toes will taste different when you eat ‘em next time,” Pa said, helping Vinnie to stand up.  

    That did sound good! What would his toes taste like next time?  Vinnie wanted to know.  And walking sounded fun too.  He was going to be such a good boy for his Pa.  

    **

    Special Agent Garcia pulled the car around the final bend, exiting the woods and sighting the farmhouse he’d last seen two months ago.  He hadn’t even parked it when Chris emerged from the barn, rushing over in a pair of shirtless overalls.  

    “Garcia hewe!” he announced brightly.  

    Bobby appeared right behind him, beaming ear to ear, wearing a tank top and dirty looking holey undies.  The two giggling idiots were eager to say hello to their visitor, but it wasn’t them he’d come to check up on.  

    “Where’s your Pa?” he asked them.  

    “Pa’s feedin’ the hogs.  Bwudders is hewpin’,” Chris answered.  

    “Right, well maybe you should go tell them I’m here.”  

    The man in overalls nodded like a bobble head and rushed off.  

    Moments later he returned, hopping along, hand now being held by Pa.  A moment later two more men emerged from around the side of the house.  Tubby looking Jason, nude as always, and right behind him Vinnie.  

    Vinnie was just as naked as Jason now, his whole body deeply tanned, his hands and feet brown with dirt, head shaved, body smooth like the others.  Garcia couldn’t help but smile.  The former gangster had been such a smooth operator, such a good liar and manipulator.  They called him the Mouth, but it was really his brains that made him so good and so dangerous.  

    Garcia had worried that those brains would have found a way out of this end.  That he’d have slipped past Pa somehow.  

    But as the naked man came closer he could see in his eyes the same vacancy, the same blankness as in the other boys.  His face had a slackness to it that utterly transformed his facial features.  He had worn a near permanent sneer before.  Now his jaw was slack, his chin shiny with drool.  

    “Vinnie, do you know who this man is?” Pa asked him. 

    Vinnie gaped at Agent Garcia, his eyes looking at him, but still not focusing.  

    “Pow-ees-man!” Vinnie declared after a moment, his lips then tugging upward into a pleased smile.  

    “That’s right Vinnie,” Pa praised him.  “He’s the policeman who brought you here to Pa.”  

    Vinnie looked stunned for a moment, then hurried over to Garcia, grabbing his arm.  

    “Pa made me hab a nap,” he told Garcia, clearly excited to deliver this news.  

    For a second Garcia was worried.  Was Vinnie trying to break through, trying to get out of this after all?  

    “He did?” 

    Vinnie nodded.  “Made me all spethal ‘nd widdle,” Vinnie told him seriously.  “Widdle inthide.”  

    Garcia swallowed hard and nodded.  

    Then Vinnie’s lips tugged up again, that silly smile reappearing on his face.  

    “Now I go nekkid!” he announced, grabbing his soft penis and yanking it upward to show to Garcia.  

    Garcia laughed out loud.  

    “I see that.  It’s nice being all nekkid then?”  

    An emphatic nod from Vinnie.  Then he turned to Pa and urged him, “Show da pow-ees-man Pa! Show ‘em da spethal watch!”  He turned back to Garcia and assured him, “Feews so good!”  

    Garcia ran his hand over the man’s smooth head, looking into his eager, peaceful eyes.  

    “I’m glad it felt so good for you.  But I have grown-up things to do.  I can’t let Pa empty out my head and turn me into a dumb little nudist redneck like you, okay?”  

    Vinnie blinked, his mouth still hanging open. 

     “Otay,” he said, not a flicker of insult taken at the response.  

    Then he sat down with his bare bottom in the dirt, grabbed his foot and slipped his toes into his mouth, sucking on the filthy digits even as he gazed vacant eyed up at the two grown-ups. 

    Requests

    After writing some very long stories, I’m looking to do some more short tales or captions again.  Keeping in mind my style, let me know if you have any story ideas, and/or send me images you’d like to see captioned.  I’m open to any idea/image involving mental regression or mental puppy transformation.  

    Volunteers: Chapter 6

    The trip to the supermarket was a nerve-wracking experience. To start with I was worried my mind might slip back into toddler mode when Ken drove the car out of the driveway and past the invisible barrier that stopped me leaving the yard earlier. But when he turned out onto the street I still felt fine. Apparently the suggestions just prevented me from leaving on my own.

    Once we were past that barrier it was only a short ride to the store. I was thankful for that since it was quite uncomfortable with all three of us crammed into the backseat. Liam was wedged in next to me, messily eating a cracker with his mouth wide open, crumbs going everywhere.

    The closer the moment got the more hyped up I felt. I had to be sweating now. Hopefully Ken didn’t notice. He got out of the car first when we arrived, went and got a trolley, bringing it to the car before opening the back door. The child locks were on, so there was no point trying to go anywhere while he was away.

    “Okay, now who wants to ride in the trolley today?” he asked brightly.

    “Me! Me! Me!” Benny shouted, climbing awkwardly into the trolley. He looked utterly ridiculous sitting in the bin, his bare feet pressed tight against the wire mesh, his back hunched against the rear.

    “Good boy. Okay, Liam, Eric, you keep a hand on the trolley at all times. No running around.”

    I did as I was told for now. It wasn’t going to be much longer. I wanted to be somewhere very public, somewhere he couldn’t stop me with a trigger song. I didn’t like waiting though. I felt so self-conscious about how I looked, still shirtless, barefoot, holding onto the side of the trolley. My brothers were no better. Neither had shirts or shoes of course. Only Ken was dressed normally, so everyone would know he was in charge, he wasn’t one of these special boys. I just reminded myself it could have been worse. He didn’t use the leash for this trip.

    It felt like every pair of eyes in the store was on us as soon as we walked in. I had to be red as a tomato. It’s strange because I’d actually been naked most of the day and now I was wearing shorts. But I actually felt more naked now than ever. I wasn’t even dressed for the beach. I didn’t have on board shorts, my feet weren’t sandy. I just looked trashy, worse than bogan.

    “Look boys, they have free fruit. You two go grab a piece and bring one for your brother too,” Ken directed us.

    Countdown always had free fruit for kids. But we weren’t kids, not really. Wouldn’t we get in trouble for taking from the free bucket?

    Liam had no qualms about it of course. He scurried over and chose an apple for himself, biting into it right there, chewing it messily, the juices running down his chin. I copied him, picking a pear and biting into it, intentionally chewing open-mouthed, letting bits fall on my bare chest.

    “Yummy!” I declared, mouth still half full.

    Ken didn’t look suspicious at all. Soon the tables would be turned and he’d be the one getting stared at. He’d feel like a fool. It was petty, thinking of such revenge, but it felt more than justified to me.

    I just needed to pick the right moment now, pick the right person to tell the truth to. I didn’t want Ken explaining it all away. He couldn’t be allowed to leave the store with Liam and Benny. And then luck smiled on me, because as we turned into the first aisle there was a police officer in full uniform walking towards us.

    She was exactly what I needed now. As she approached I got ready, prepared what I was going to say down to the word. I needed to get it all out fast, in case Ken did something.

    I looked right at her, our eyes met for a second and then she took in my appearance. No matter, she’d understand in a moment. I let go of the trolley, rushing ahead, my bare feet smacking on the linoleum floor.

    “Hi!” I shouted, standing right before her.

    The police officer stopped, looking surprised, looking concerned.

    “Can I help you sir?” she asked.

    I opened my mouth… but nothing came out. It was like an error message suddenly flashed across my brain. All the words I’d readied were gone. I needed to tell her something, it was so important, the most important message ever. I was sure of that. But… what was it?

    I had to say something. She was staring at me, I needed to say anything.

    “I gotta pear,” I finally announced, holding up the half-eaten fruit for her to see.

    She looked at it, then gave me this pitying smile.

    “Oh… yes, that’s very nice,” she said, her tone different now. She was addressing me as a child, not an adult needing her help.

    “Eric, I told you to keep your hand on the trolley,” Ken admonished, arriving at my side. “Now, you’re getting in the nice police officer’s way.”

    “It’s no problem sir,” she told him, clearly recognising him as the person in charge of me.

    “Sorry about that, he’s special as you can see. I think he likes your uniform,” he told the cop.

    That didn’t sound right at all. But I wasn’t sure it was wrong either. I wasn’t sure of anything really. I just felt so utterly lost, so confused. So I just stood there, gaping at the cop in the cool uniform. Yes, Ken was right about that. I did like her uniform.

    “Don’t worry about it sir. You all heading to the beach?” she asked, the implication of her question clear.

    Ken chuckled nervously. “Oh no, it’s just that they have sensory issues, like little kids. They find shirts and shoes so constricting, so irritating on their skin they throw a fit every time I have to dress them up. So I’m afraid it’s just easier to let them be comfy. I hope it isn’t a problem?”

    The officer’s expression softened and she nodded. “I can understand that. Are you taking care of them all yourself?”

    “Oh no, that would be impossible. I have a partner and we care for them together. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding.”

    “We need more people like you and your partner,” the cop praised Ken. “You have good day now.”

    With that, the police officer headed off on her way. I watched her go, only partly aware of Ken taking my hand, placing it back on the cool metal wire of the trolley.

    “No more running off Eric, or you’ll have to stay home next time we go shopping and then miss out on the fruit,” he warned me.

    For a brief moment that felt like a scary threat. I tightened my grip on the trolley. I felt the deep need to be good for Ken, be a good boy. But then the cop turned the corner, disappearing from view, and the fog rolled back, my head suddenly clearing.

    Damn it! I’d totally missed my opportunity. There was no use trying to phone the police when I got home either. Obviously some of the suggestions were still influencing me, stopping me reporting what was being done to us. And that meant there was only one option left. I needed to get into that office again, get into that computer and find the reversal programming.

    In the meantime I had to endure the rest of the shopping trip, holding the side of the trolley, making an intentional mess of my face with my pear, pretending to be oblivious to the stares.

    The worst part had to be when an actual little boy, probably four or five years old and dressed basically the same as us, actually pointed right at us and loudly declared, “Those little boys is big mummy!”

    I wanted to sink into the floor and disappear. I had to find a way to end this.

    **

    Another game of hide and seek is the ruse for my next attempt to get into the computer. For a moment I worried that would be suspicious, but of course little kids love repetition, so it was fine. This time Liam and Benny were involved. Not in the plot of course. No, they really thought we were playing a game. They were hiding and this time I was the seeker. Chris was still busy working in the kitchen and Ken was preparing to make dinner. It was the best chance I was going to get.

    I headed back up the stairs, knowing Benny and Liam had actually gone out to the backyard to hide. The office was dark aside from the blue light of the computer screen illuminating that corner of the room. I closed the door and didn’t turn on the light this time. Tip-toeing over, I tapped the mouse and the desktop home screen appeared. Yes! Ken hadn’t logged out when he led me from the room last time.

    It didn’t take much browsing to find what I was looking for. The computer seemed to be set up for one purpose only, running hypnotic programming to turn grown men into empty-headed morons dependent on their new caregivers.

    There was a whole set-up screen with choices about what kind of programming to give the subject. There was mental age, a sliding bar for intelligence relative to perceived age. There was a separate section for maturity level. And then sliding scales for behaviour (ranging from ‘perfect angel’ on the right to ‘very naughty’ on the left), modesty (very shy to complete nudist) and several other personality traits.

    At the bottom a number of text boxes let the user enter specialised, tailored suggestions.

    I guessed it was still set for whoever they used it on last. Apparently that poor man was now an immature, poorly behaved total nudist with the intellect of a slow-witted three year old.

    But I was getting distracted. I didn’t have much time, I needed to find the reversal section. They had to have it here somewhere. I clicked into different sections of the programme, looking for the reversal area, but nothing appeared. Back to the main screen, maybe you just had to set the age higher. But the highest age you could choose was five. I had a sinking feeling, there was nothing about reversal, nothing about increasing mental age or maturity level.

    The lights flicked on so suddenly it dazzled me. I jumped back from the computer, my heart pounding so hard I could feel it in my head, felt the pulsing in my fingers.

    Ken was standing in the open doorway, frowning at me. The programme was open now, he could no doubt see what I was looking at. He had to know I wasn’t dumb anymore. The jig was up.

    “I should have suspected earlier,” he said, strangely calm given what he’d just caught me doing.

    I didn’t answer, didn’t say a word. But it didn’t seem like he was expecting an answer anyway.

    “When I found you in here earlier I wasn’t that surprised. You’ve snuck into the office before. You like breaking rules and that’s my own fault. I wanted you wild, I wanted you a bit naughty and cheeky. But still, I felt something was wrong with it this time. And then we got home and you kept your shorts on. In the year since you heard your special song I’ve never seen you fail to strip down the moment we get home.”

    It was a mistake and I knew it at the time. But it just felt so wrong, stripping nude while Ken watched, knowing that’s exactly what he wanted.

    “What you’re doing here is beyond fucked up.”

    There, I’d said it. Screw acting innocent, if I was going down, I was going to be honest while I had the chance.

    “What do you even know about what I’m doing?”

    “I know enough. I remember enough and I can put it all together now. You’re getting paid to turn other men into adult toddlers.”

    Ken shook his head. “The men who come to me are deeply unhappy in their lives. They want support, they want to be cared for. They want a release from their anxiety, the stress of adult life. I give that to them. When we finish in here, after their therapy, they all have the happiest of smiles, the very biggest of erections.”

    “You sell them to ‘daddies’ for who knows what.”

    “After their therapy, after they’re released from all those grown-up worries, they need someone to look after them, to love and cherish them. So I find other men who want to care for them. Everyone is happy in the end, so where exactly is the crime?” Ken insisted.

    His certainty chilled me to the bone. “You mean that don’t you? You really think you’re helping people.”

    “When I first started the experiment it was just a means to an end. I’ve told you how it was all inspired by you.”

    I shuddered at the very thought.

    “But afterwards, when we had our perfect family, I began chatting with others on the internet and I realised how many people out there felt the same way I did. And I realised I had the means to give them their own happy families, just like ours. And it was a way to support our family too. I mean, how perfect was that?”

    “Perfectly horrible,” I answered dryly.

    “I haven’t harmed anyone. Their lives have only been improved…”

    “So they all volunteered? They signed consent forms? You told them, when you come into this room, I’m going to empty your head of every intelligent thought and then leave you that way?” I demanded.

    Ken hesitated. Was that a flicker of doubt in his eyes? Maybe he did have an inkling of awareness of the monstrosity he had committed.

    “Of course I couldn’t always tell them the full truth. People often don’t know what’s good for them. They make choices that do themselves harm.”

    Oh, the irony of him making that statement.

    “Well I’ve got bad news mate. Sometimes your programming wears off. So you might have some very angry customers coming back for refunds, or coming back with the cops.”

    But Ken shook his head. “They aren’t getting the same programming as you. You were in the trial, the experimental section. Afterwards we worked out a lot of the kinks, combined different elements that worked best, came up with this,” he said, gesturing to the room.

    “The perfect mind-wiping machine? You’re proud of that?”

    Ken gave me a knowing smile. “You know how nice it is to have a big toddler boy dependent on you, cuddling with you. When Benny and Liam came to you for more than cuddles you didn’t turn them away, you made them feel good and you enjoyed it too. Do you deny it?”

    I couldn’t deny it. He was right, I had helped him with the others. I had fucked up in the worst way. And even worse, I still felt aroused by it. All day I’d thought about what would happen if I didn’t escape. That I’d be tucked into my normal bed alongside Liam. And we would be naked and cuddled together, our penises brushing past each other. God that was hot to think about. And God was it ever wrong.

    “I can’t deny it, but I know I made a mistake now,” I told him defiantly.

    He nodded, actually looking sympathetic. “I get it. You may not believe me, but I get how you feel. You want to be with Liam and Benny again, but you also don’t want to be taking advantage of them in their innocent, mentally reduced state.”

    “I… well, yeah actually.”

    “That’s perfectly understandable, and luckily I have the solution to that conundrum.”

    I didn’t like where this was going.

    “Let me run the programme for you, right now. Then you’ll be right back on the same level as Liam and Benny. You can run right back to them, snuggle up with them in bed, tickle their doodles, let them play with yours and there’s nothing wrong with it at all. You’re all equals, all silly boys exploring each other’s bodies, meeting the grown-up needs those bodies still have.”

    My jaw had to be hanging open, I was so taken aback by his proposal.

    “You think I’m going to agree to let you hypnotise me again?”

    “I think, deep down, you know it’s what you really want. You’ve been so happy this past year. You’ve loved being my special little guy. You can’t bring yourself to consciously admit it, it’s too embarrassing, but inside, in your heart of hearts, you know I’m right. It’s why you’re here, looking through my computer, reading about the programme.”

    I shook my head violently. “I’m here looking for the reversal programme!” I snapped.

    Ken looked surprised for a second, then he snickered.

    “What’s so funny?” I demanded.

    “Eric, there isn’t a reversal programme. I told you, I’ve never had an unhappy customer. There’s never been any use creating a reversal system. It’s a one way trip.”

    “But that’s not true. Look at me! I got my smarts back.”

    “True, and I can’t deny being curious about what triggered that. But to be honest I’d been looking for signs of awareness in you for months, though I got slack after a while. The programming we used in the experiment still had flaws, as I told you. This new system has fixed those. There’s no coming back from our special little show.”

    So there was no solution to be found here. I’d snuck in here, blown my cover, for nothing.

    Ken gestured to the seat. “Why don’t you just sit down, have a nice rest, let me take all these worries away. Then you can go back to your game, go find Liam and Benny, and show them how happy you’ve become, let them help you have a nice sticky release.”

    “There’s no way in hell I’m sitting in that seat,” I spat.

    He shrugged. “I saw what happened today with the police officer. I thought it was strange at the time, but now I know what it was. Some of the suggestions are still there, aren’t they? You can’t tell anyone, can’t run away.”

    I clenched my fists, wanting to do something, anything, but feeling so utterly impotent.

    “So what’s the plan then Eric? Hmm?”

    There was no more plan. I was fresh out of ideas.

    “Honey, there’s nowhere for you to go. Why not let yourself be happy? Let yourself enjoy it.”

    He turned his head, and called out “Chris! Come up here please!”

    Things were going from bad to worse.

    “I don’t want to use physical force on you Eric,” Ken told me, nevertheless stepping closer. “But we both know things can’t stay the way they are.”

    Chris appeared in the doorway, looking confused.

    “What’s going on?” he asked.

    “Eric’s got his big boy thoughts back,” Ken explained quickly. “So why don’t you just close the door.”

    Chris did as he was told, shutting the door behind him so that there were now two sizeable men blocking my only escape route. Of course there really wasn’t anywhere to escape to, so what difference did it make.

    “Please don’t make this hard Eric,” Ken urged me, stepping closer again.

    Chris looked concerned now too. “Careful Ken, don’t hurt him or anything,” he pleaded.

    Chris actually looked really worried for my sake. Amazingly he seemed like he actually cared about me, saw me as his little boy, needing protecting.

    “I’m not going to hurt anyone,” Ken assured him. “But we can’t let him leave the room until he’s seen the show. If he leaves, we lose everything, you understand that Chris, don’t you? You understand what’s at stake here?”

    Chris clearly looked conflicted, but he nodded, keeping his muscular body between me and the door.

    I looked down at the computer again, at the settings all retained from its last use. And right at the bottom was the button marked Execute. Then I looked down at the bin on the floor, just between Ken and I. There were wrap-around sunglasses and a whole pile of ear-plugs. Of course, Ken and Chris needed a way to protect themselves from the hypnotic treatment they subjected their victims to.

    If I’d noticed earlier I could have prepared, could have grabbed the sunglasses, stuffed the ear plugs in. But there was no time now.

    I took a deep breath. I wasn’t getting out of here with my mind intact. But maybe I could stop them doing this to anyone else. Would that be worth it? Would that make up for the mistakes I made?

    I grabbed the mouse, moving it quickly to the button, and hitting Execute.

    A dialogue box appeared.

    Are you sure you want to run this programme?

    Ken’s eyes widened. “Hey!” he gasped, realising what I was doing.

    I made eye contact with him for a moment and finally the smug certainly was gone. Instead, I saw terror in his eyes.

    There was only one thing to say to him.

    “You just volunteered.”

    Ken lunged at me, and I hit the enter key.

    The lights flicked off instantly. Ken stopped, looking down at the box of sunglasses and earplugs on the floor. He dove for the box. But I was faster. I kicked the box with all my strength, sending it tumbling across the room, its contents thrown this way and that, lost in the darkness.

    Chris had turned around, going to open the door. But I threw myself into it with all my weight, slamming it closed again.

    “Eric no!” Chris shouted.

    The far wall erupted in a kaleidoscope of colours. They were swirling and bright, illuminating the whole room in their glow. At the same moment strange audio sounds were pumped out of hidden speakers, drowning out any possible speech. I shut my eyes tight, but I couldn’t cover my ears. I was still struggling against Chris, who was trying with all his might to pry me away from the door.

    I couldn’t let him get out. I put all my strength into staying put. And after about thirty seconds his shoving got weaker. A few more seconds and it stopped altogether. It might have been a ruse, so I kept myself tight against the door, waiting for another assault. But it didn’t come.

    I chanced opening my eyes a crack. In the strobing glow of the room I saw Chris standing there, facing the far wall, arms slack at his sides, shoulders slumped, gazing slack-jawed and droopy eyed into the swirling colours.

    I shut my eyes again, held them tight, but I felt okay and I needed to know where Ken was. I stepped over to Chris, feeling his relaxed but upright body, using it to guide myself back to the middle of the room. I couldn’t leave unless I knew Ken was under too.

    My foot hit something solid. I cracked my eyes open again, looking down at the floor, not at the wall. Ken was down on the floor on his knees, legs folded under him. His hands were flat on the floor, where they’d been feeling for the sunglasses, for some ear plugs. But they weren’t moving now, they weren’t searching anymore. Ken’s head was slumped to his right side, his mouth hanging open, a line of drool hanging from his chin. His eyes were wide open though, gazing blankly at the wall, utterly entranced.

    And there, just in front of him, within reach, a pair of sunglasses. He had been so close.

    I closed my eyes again, squeezed them shut, getting down on my own knees, feeling for the sunglasses. I found them! I held them in my hands. But I didn’t put them on yet. If I put them on, they’d stop me from seeing the special show. I’d miss out on it. I’d miss the one and only chance to let all my fears and worries go, forever and ever.

    I should put on the sunglasses. Then I could open my eyes, find the door, go back to my old life. But how could I leave? How could I miss the most wonderful, most euphoric experience a person could have? That’s what the voice in my head was telling me. The voice that seemed like my own, even though it said such strange, but such compelling things.

    I lifted up my head and opened my eyes. The sunglasses were there in my hands. I didn’t put them on. The wall was beautiful. Oh God, it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. The feeling of release, of calmness that settled over me, it was exquisite. Every single muscle in my body seemed to relax. And my brain relaxed too. It was like having a deep tissue massage, but for my brain. I moaned out loud as I let go of every worry, every concern. There were only these amazing swirls. They were my whole world. And then even they seemed to fade away as I simply stopped thinking.

    **

    I’m still on the floor when awareness returns. I can feel the carpet under my knees. It’s soft, but my knees are still sore. I’ve been kneeling on them for some time. Everything feels slow, like I’m underwater. The lights are back on in the room, the beautiful swirling colours have gone and Ken is no longer next to me. I’m the only one on the floor.

    I’m aware of all these things, but there is one sensation which takes precedence over everything else. I can’t ever recall feeling so aroused as I am right now. My cock is fully erect, straining to escape my shorts and I can feel that all my smarts are down there, in my balls, waiting for me to expel them, waiting for me to shoot them out on my tummy, obliterate them forever.

    I don’t touch myself down there. It takes all my will-power not to. I have to get up, I have to get out of here. I force myself to stand and feel the carpet under my feet, looking down at the bulge in my shorts. I want them off. I need to be free of clothes.

    Eric is a jaybird. Eric’s a silly little nudist. Eric doesn’t care who sees his bouncy doodle.

    They aren’t my thoughts. And yet they are.

    I grab my shorts and undies and yank them down, letting my straining cock spring free. It’s standing nearly straight up, precum drooling down the shaft. I’ve gotten naked and the very action, giving into the suggestions, makes my penis twitch with even more arousal.

    But I don’t touch it. I can’t do that because there’s other stuff to do. What other stuff? I don’t feel little, but I don’t feel big and smart now either. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle. My head feels like it’s all stuffed with cotton candy, fluffy and light, but fuzzy at the same time.

    I turn around and see that I’m not alone in the room after all. Chris is standing by the computer. He’s wearing just his undies though, his normal clothes are lying in a pile on the floor. And he’s just as erect, just as aroused as me. The head of his penis is poking out of the elastic waist of his briefs.

    Chris doesn’t look at me, he’s focused on the screen, but it’s obvious he’s not sure what to do. His eyes are glassy looking, his normal intelligence missing, like someone leant in and blew out the light behind his eyes. He’s slack-jawed, a big string of drool hanging from his shiny chin, connecting to the keyboard. While he punches at keys with one hand, he nibbles on several fingers of the other.

    As I step over to his side, Chris finally looks over at me. He looks sticken, utterly lost.

    “I can’t wead it,” he complains. “I forgot da ledders.”

    “You saw the show. Now you’re all dumb,” I told him.

    He pouted, like a little boy. “Gotta fix it!” he said, stamping his foot, then batting his hand angrily at the keyboard.

    I shake my head. “You dunno how.”

    Chris looks back at the screen, gazing at it with a vacant expression for a long moment, patting at the keys once again. I looked at the screen too, saw that he was typing in one of the boxes. But I wasn’t sure what he had typed. I couldn’t read anymore either.

    “You took off your clothes,” I point out.

    Chris looks back at me and nods. “Wanna be nakey. But that’s for babies,” he says, making a disgusted look, like he smelled something bad.

    I step closer to him, take his wrist in my hand, slipping his fingers out of his mouth. He doesn’t resist at all. He just looks curious as I guide his hand downward, grab the waist of his undies, slide them down a bit, guide his drool-soaked fingers to his cock.

    “That’s right, go ahead, it’s gonna feel so good,” I tell him.

    I wonder if he’ll refuse. He has to know what’s going to happen, he’s put so many other men through this programme. But then he seems so far gone. It’s obvious he’s taken in much more of the suggestions than I have.

    Sure enough he begins to pump his fist up and down, immediately letting out this little mewl of pleasure. His eyes roll upwards and his body visibly shivers. I wonder if he always secretly wanted this, if he wanted to join us little boys all along. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just the suggestions, so powerful they’ve warped his sexual desires.

    It doesn’t take long at all. Maybe half a minute and then his eyes roll all the way up, his body goes rigid and a rope of cum arcs through the air, splashing right across the computer screen and keyboard.

    “Ohhhh. Ughhhh,” he cries out as a second jet up cum shoots out so hard it hits his own chin.

    I can only watch in amazement as his body spasms and more cum coats his tummy and chest. It’s an incredible ejaculation. It’s obvious he is experiencing total euphoria.

    And then it’s over. Chris’s eyes roll back down and he takes in the mess he’s made, of himself, of the computer. And then he smiles. Yes, he gets a big cheerful grin and he starts smacking at the keyboard not in anger, but in delight. It’s obvious he’s just playing now, just pretending to type like a big boy. He’s not trying to fix anything, he’s just playing pretend.

    But I have a really important idea then. Chris’ clothes are still there on the floor. I go through his shorts and find the phone. I feel even fuzzier as soon as I touch it. I have to do it fast. I hit the phone button and hit one, one, one. I still know that number and I know that’s the emergency number. The ambulance people come when you call that number. They come and help. And I need help.

    The phone rings once and then I hear a voice.

    “Hello. What’s your emergency?”

    I want to tell the woman all our problems, but I feel so fuzzy again, feel so blank.

    “Need hewp!” I finally manage to call out.

    The woman says more things, but I can’t understand her. I need to leave, I need to go out of the room, away from the phone. I need to find Ken.

    **

    I felt a little bit clearer after I left the office and headed down the stairs. But with every step my penis brushed against my tummy and made the urge to touch it grow even stronger. But I couldn’t do that. I didn’t know if Ken had gotten away after all. And the ambulance people were coming, I was sure of it.

    I heard beeping, coming from the kitchen. Maybe Liam and Benny were there, maybe they’d come back inside. But when I got into the kitchen, it wasn’t them I found.

    The beeping was coming from the fridge, which had been left wide open, its engine cranking at full power as all the cold was let out. All the kitchen cabinets were open too. Half a box of cereal was dumped on the bench. It was obvious a toddler had been let loose in here with no supervision.

    Ken was standing in the middle of the kitchen with his back to me, eating something. He was naked, no sign of his clothes anywhere.

    “Ken, what you eatin’?” I asked.

    Ken spun around and I saw that it was chocolate brownies he had. The evidence was smeared all over his chin and cheeks. His doodle was still erect too, jutting out at a sharp angle. But there was also fresh, glistening cum all over his tummy. He’d already had his special stickies and it was obvious that he’d stayed and listened to the whole special programme. He hadn’t managed to get the sunglasses on, hadn’t inserted the earplugs. It was very clear he’d got the whole treatment.

    “I goz choc-wate!” he announced, holding out the brownie in his messy fingers.

    I could only nod, taking in the glazed over eyes and the slack expression on his face.

    “You got nakey. You’re all little now,” I pointed out.

    Kenny wasn’t insulted though. He just nodded and smiled.

    “Uh-huh! I did da stickies! Kenny widdle. We be bwudders!” he shouted, getting all worked up, hopping from foot to foot in excitement, his erection growing again.

    I looked at his innocent expression, his excitement at losing all his smarts and I expected to feel vindication. Ken was dumb as a rock now. His smarts were gone forever and he’d never be able to manipulate or hurt another person again. Now he was going to be the one dependent on grown-ups for care. He’d never use his university degree, would probably never hold a job again. I’d avenged Benny and Liam. But I didn’t feel superior, I didn’t feel a sense of justice. I just felt so jealous.

    All the awful things he’d done and now it was all forgotten. Any guilt, any worries about being punished washed away. He was free from that, free from any self-awareness at all. He was standing here buck naked in front of me, his face an utter mess, so totally reduced, and he had an ear to ear grin. He didn’t care what he looked like, he was perfectly content, a silly dumb boy, and that looked so appealing. But I couldn’t give in, even as my penis ached for release. The police were coming, the ambulance people would be here soon and then they would make everything okay and I’d get my smarts back.

    Kenny dropped the brownie, stepping closer to me.

    “Lez cuddle,” he urged.

    He opened his arms wide, inviting me in.

    Little boys love cuddles.

    I wanted a cuddle with every fibre of my being. I needed that close physical contact, that sensation of closeness and safety. I’d hated Ken so much, but he was gone now. He’d disappeared when he squirted his stickies out all over his tummy. This was Kenny, and he was an affectionate little guy. He wanted to be brothers. And with each passing second, I felt the same need grow within me.

    I opened my arms and let Kenny cuddle into my embrace. The skin on skin contact was wonderful. But as we pulled tight together my doodle brushed against his, still slick with his own release. Two bare doodles, caressing each other. I shuddered from head to toe. Pleasure lit up my brain like fireworks.

    And that’s when I knew that I didn’t want to wait for the police. I didn’t want them to help me be big again. I wanted this. I wanted more nakey cuddles with my brother. I wanted to be happy and innocent and not have any worries, not have to take care of a thing. I wanted to play all day and snuggle to sleep with my cuddle buddy.

    I thrust my penis forward, letting it grind against Kenny’s, creating delightful friction. I gripped his back more tightly and whispered to him.

    “I saw the show too. Ugh! I’m gonna do stickies, gonna get all little.”

    Kenny just giggled lightly, then planted a big wet kiss on my cheek.

    I thrust harder and faster breathing so fast I was panting, my heart racing with excitement and anticipation. He held me so tightly, so securely, it felt so good. I could feel the edge coming, and then…

    Oohhhhh. My muscles tighten and my back arches. I feel the release, feel that first splash of warm, gooey liquid on my tummy. It’s more than an orgasm though. Because for one glorious second I feel fully, completely aware. I can see my future as a grad student, as a professional fading away. Dreams of owning a home, driving a new car, travelling the world won’t be happening. I’ll never live independently again. I’ll need someone to help me with even the most basic, the simplest of tasks. The realisation fills me with horror, but mercifully it is brief, it’s but a flash.

    More spasms wrack my body and I feel blast after blast of stickies coating my tummy. The clarity fades as suddenly as it arrived. The big things are leaving me now. Pleasure overwhelms any worries I had. And it’s so, so much better than last time. This time I know it’s a one-way trip, what’s happening in my head is so utterly complete and permanent. I rest my head on Kenny’s shoulder, letting out a long, quiet moan as everything I ever worried about, every last fear and hang-up, melts from my mind, leaks out my ears, gets expelled onto my tummy. The sensation of release is total. It’s the single greatest experience of my life.

    It takes a few seconds to catch my breath after the last of the squirts. I rest in Kenny’s arms, my chest heaving against his as my breathing slows back down. I feel his hands rubbing my back, patting my bottom. Then he pulls back and our tummies come unstuck.

    My doodle is stuck to my tummy, covered in creamies. They’re all over Kenny too. He gapes down at the mess, a line of drool hangs from his chin.

    “Lez pway doggies!” he suggests.

    Doggies. I know something about them. I need to tell Kenny, need to tell my brother, the very important thing.

    “Doggies go woof!”

    I smile broadly, feeling so big, so proud to know that. So much stuff went bye-byes. But I’m not a dumb-dumb. I know all about doggies. And dinosaurs. And choo-choos. I still know heaps of big boy stuff.

    “Woof-woof,” Kenny agrees.

    Then Kenny drops to his hands and knees like a doggy. I copy him. I get on my hands and knees. My pee-pee comes unstuck from my tummy. It hangs between my legs and waggles as I scurry after Kenny making woof noises, being a silly doggy. It’s very fun to pretend. It’s fun to play with brother.

    Kenny stops in the living room. He spins to face me and barks. I bark back, I even lick his face! Then Kenny lifts his right leg and starts to pee. He’s making tinkles! Silly doggy. I gotta do a tinkle too. I try to lift my leg and copy him, but it’s tricky. So I just make my tinkles as I am, making the carpet all wet. It’s naughty, but I’m being a doggy now, so it’s okay!

    The police people come while we’re still playing. We can’t be doggies anymore. We have to be little boys again. They bring Liam and Benny in from the yard and then Chris is led into the living room by the hand, picking his nose with the other one. We’re all together then, all five little boys, when the ambulance people arrive too. We all used to be big, just like these grown-ups. We were all so big and smart, and now we’re all little, all nakey-bummed and silly. But the ambulance people will know what to do. I know everything is going to be okay. The help people. They’ll fix everything.

    Epilogue

    The new flat was only blocks from the university campus. As Liam parked the car in the driveway he wondered as always about when he might go back there. He was getting better all the time. Dr Owens sessions were helping him so much and she thought he might be ready next semester. He could hardly wait to get back in the lab.

    Liam got out of the car, feeling the warm pavement under his feet. He couldn’t help but smile, feeling that little tingle of pleasure pass through his body. Being barefoot still felt too good to give up. Dr Owens had done her best, but that suggestion had stuck like cement. So he looked like a surfer dude, in his boardies and singlet, things could be worse.

    He opened the back door of the car, smiling at the young man in the backseat. Eric had board shorts and bare feet just like him. But Eric didn’t have a singlet, he didn’t wear a shirt at all. He went to daycare in one every morning, but the carers said it never stayed on long. They’d given up that fight long ago. It took enough effort to keep him from streaking around in his birthday suit.

    Now Eric had his right foot firmly in his hands, big toe wedged between his lips, suckling peacefully away at it, glassy eyes crossed in concentration.

    “C’mon toe muncher, time to head inside,” Liam told his old friend, using the sing-song tone one always addressed little children with.

    Eric let his toe pop free, a line of spittle still connecting it to his lips.

    “Dem all icky!” he announced, squirming in his seat and holding out his foot for Liam to see.

    It was a small mercy that Eric was so happy. The tent in his board shorts was unmissable. He was still regularly aroused by his own silliness. Liam was thankful for that, because Eric wasn’t going to be returning to university with him, not next semester, not ever.

    The bigwigs at the university had run every test. Dr Owens had given it her best shot. But the progamming Eric got was so different to the original, so much more powerful. The only people who really understood it were Chris and Ken. So Eric was left unable to learn, with the maturity and intellect of a toddler. He spent his days with other intellectually damaged boys and girls, playing in the sensory room, making finger paintings, being led to the potty by his hand if he managed to make it at all. He wore pull-ups, just in case.

    Next year, when Liam hoped to be graduating, Eric would still be riding in the backseat home from daycare, playing with his toesies.

    The top shrinks didn’t offer them much hope. They urged him to move on, to leave Eric to his family. But that wasn’t an option, because they just wanted to put him in an institution. He was an embarrassment and a burden to his well-bred, well-educated family. Liam couldn’t let that happen after Eric sacrificed his own mind, his whole future, to save them. That was how he ended up as Eric’s legal guardian.

    “My goodness, those are suck icky feets! You must have had a very busy day,” Liam declared.

    Eric nodded, pulling his foot back and forth. “We did a walk to da park. Sawed lotsa biwdies and da buggies went up my feets, and I squished ‘em and dere was a doggy ‘nd he was nithe!” he explained, talking so fast, with such poor diction than only a parent could follow the tale.

    Liam understood every babbled word.

    “My goodness, what an adventure my little guy had,” he exclaimed, taking a tissue and wiping Eric’s perpetually wet chin.

    “Uh-huh! Ab-den… Ad-dent… Ewic spwored da park!”

    Liam leant across his friend, undid his seat-belt. Eric knew never to unbuckle himself.

    “Okay explorer, let’s head in and see what brother’s been up to all day.”

    They headed into the house with Liam calling out, “Anybody home?”

    Heavy footsteps announced that someone was of course at home. The room to the left of the front door had been converted into the playroom. It was basically a giant playpen filled with toys to occupy and excite a toddler mind. Rather than a gate it was closed in with a soft mesh door so the grown-ups could see inside and the fully grown tots couldn’t get out and get themselves in trouble.

    Kenny came racing up to the mesh door, eager to greet them. He’d seen the same programming as Eric and despite being it’s designer and knowing exactly what was in the suggestions, it had been just as effective on him as Eric. It was likely he had actually known the method needed to reverse the programme. But that knowledge had been wiped from his brain along with the ABCs.

    “Ewic ‘nd Wiam home!” Kenny announced loudly, batting his hands at the make-shift mesh door. He wanted to get out, but his hands never went to the release mechanism. It was a mystery to him, far beyond his current level of comprehension.

    Instead the fully naked young man hopped up and down, his erect penis flapping against the doorway. Kenny never wore clothes at home. He had an epic tantrum if forced.

    “Well hello there, all go well with the pick-up?”

    Ben had emerged from the kitchen, wiping a bowl dry.

    “No drama. Kenny give you any trouble today?”

    Ben shook his head. “No more than usual. He’s been in his playroom and quiet for the last couple hours. Had a nice long nap before that. So I got a lot of my essay done.”

    Ben was already back at uni, which gave Liam more certainty that he’d be back too very soon. He did his courses online for the most part though, so he could stay home and watch Kenny. The settlement with the university covered all of Eric’s expenses, but for obvious reasons Kenny wasn’t entitled to any of that funding.

    Taking Kenny in was one of the toughest decisions Liam and Ben had ever made. They agreed to look after Eric without a hesitation. They understood how he’d been manipulated into helping Ken. He was as much a victim as them. They couldn’t abandon him. But Kenny had done this to them. Why not leave him to the same fate as Chris, who’s parents had dumped him in a state facility for such hopeless cases?

    They hadn’t done that because of Eric. Whatever else had changed in Kenny when he lost his smarts, his maturity, it had not touched his infatuation with Eric. If anything the removal of all his inhibitions, his self-awareness, had only magnified his love. He followed Eric everywhere, clung to him like a lost puppy. And having such an affectionate, doting brother made Eric happy.

    In the end they reminded themselves that the Ken who had done this to them was gone now. The dumbed down man behind the mesh gate couldn’t hurt a fly. He was incapable of scheming, of manipulating anyone. He had no secrets at all. He did his poopies and tinkles in the plastic potty seat while everyone watched for goodness sake.

    “Ewic gonna pway!” Kenny urged, shaking the mesh door again.

    “You want to play with Kenny, Eric? Want to get all snuggly and cosy with brother?” Liam cooed to him.

    Eric nodded, a cheeky smile on his face. He plucked at the waist of his shorts. “Wan’ ‘em off now. Be nakey wike my bwudder.”

    Liam obliged, helping Eric slip his shorts and pull-ups down to his ankles, holding his hand for balance as the uncoordinated boy stepped clear of them.

    “Nakey time! Nakey time!” Kenny cheered.

    Liam opened the gate. It was easy for him of course. The lock was the simplest of mechanisms that even a five year old could open.

    Kenny threw his arms around Liam right away, cuddling him so tightly, planting big messy smooches on his cheek. Then they raced off to play, hand in hand, giggling merrily.

    Ben secured the door, keeping the toddlers safe while he and Liam headed to the kitchen.

    “So it was a long day?” he asked Liam.

    “So long. You have no idea how pedantic people can be about their cappuccinos.”

    “I know it sucks, but it pays the bills right.”

    Liam had to agree. His settlement hadn’t gone as far as he’d expected and he needed to save money for tuition if he planned to return to university soon. Sometimes he wished he lived in the US, the home of the lawsuit. If he was there he’d probably be a millionaire now. But it didn’t help to dwell on what might be. He had to get on with his life, even if adulting wasn’t easy.

    “You look like you need a night off,” Ben suggested, putting his hand on Liam’s arm.

    Liam looked up, wide-eyed. “Really? You mean that?”

    Ben nodded, “I have work to do now anyway. But I probably would like a night off sometime next week, so you can pay me back then.”

    Liam loved Ben. The experience they’d shared had bonded them like nothing else. But it was more than what they’d been through in the past. Ben understood something Liam could never tell anyone else, not the doctors, not his family. Ben understood how he could look at Eric and Kenny, filthy, playing naked on the floor with the silliest of toys and feel not pity, but jealousy.

    He put his arms around Ben, who quickly reciprocated. Pecking a kiss on his partner’s cheek, he whispered, “Thank you, I really need this.”

    “No problem at all. You relax now, let me take away all those big boy thoughts.”

    Liam didn’t even see him taking his phone out. He just heard Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star playing softly but clearly. Ben’s hand slipped under his singlet, rubbing his back as he felt his head go all fuzzy again.

    For his part, Ben felt Liam’s body stiffen, felt the bulge rapidly growing in his pants and then heard his soft moan of pleasure. “That’s it, let it all go Liam. You’re perfectly safe, you’re all mine. Daddy’s in charge now,” he cooed.

    Now that they knew the reversion trigger, now that the university had tested it all, they knew it was possible to safely induce the mental regression and then just as quickly end it. But they didn’t tell anyone that they were using it of course. This was their little secret. Next week Ben would get to be Benny again, but for now it was little Liam’s turn to play.

    **

    Kenny and Eric sat side by side in the playroom, the soft carpet under their bare bums, surrounded by Playskool toys, Duplo Blocks and a variety of well-used stuffed animals. Each had an arm around the other’s shoulders as they manipulated their favourite toys of all, their doodles. They helped each other, arms crossed, hands pumping up and down. It happened most days, experimental poking led to pleasant tingles, which led to more touching and finally they would snuggle up and make their stickies together.

    But this time their fun was interrupted as the mesh doorway opened again. They slowed down their play, not out of any sense of shame or modesty, but simply out of curiosity for who was arriving in their playroom.

    Ben stepped into the room, leading Liam along by the hand.

    “Look who’s come to play,” he announced.

    Kenny and Eric giggled. Liam’s singlet and shorts were gone. He was just as nude as them now, with a happy pee-pee to boot!

    “Wiam got nakey!” Eric pointed out.

    “Yep, Liam decided he wanted to be little for the rest of the day. So you all play nice, okay. I have to do some work, so I don’t want to hear any fighting. Okay?” Ben directed.

    Kenny and Eric nodded seriously. But right beside Ben Liam was nodding too, his eyes just as wide and innocent now.

    “Wiam pway nithe,” he agreed, nibbling on his fingers.

    And so Ben left all three of them to play, locking them securely into the playroom. For a moment Liam followed after him, standing at the doorway, gazing blankly at the latch, poking at it with confusion.

    Eric tip-toed up and poked his shoulder. “You it!” he declared before toddling off in a fit of screeches and giggles.

    Liam giggled too, giving chase, the adult world beyond the door totally forgotten. The innocent pleasure of a naked game of tag with his best buddies was something he’d never want to give up. In the morning Ben would wake him back up, so he could go to work, earn his money for uni. But for the moment, tomorrow didn’t even exist in Liam’s mind. For now there were no responsibilities, no deadlies, no bills. There was only fun and cuddles and toys. Even now in his simplified mind he knew that he was a very lucky little boy because he had a Daddy who loved him and two lovely little brothers who would always be there for a playdate.

    They were a family now.

    The End

    Volunteers: Chapter 5

    I really like bugs. I like looking at them. I like watching them crawl in the dirt. I like how they feel crawling on my skin. So I don’t mind it when the ants crawl over my feet. I squat down to look at them closer, wiggle my toes in the soft dirt.

    I’m exploring the front yard again. It’s one of my favourite things to do. Even though I’ve done it more times than even a grown-up could possibly count. I can’t count at all though, that’s for big boys. I know I have ten toes, but I can’t count them without help. I got distracted again, that happens a lot now, cuz my head is so silly, so fuzzy.

    I’m exploring the yard because I can pretend I’m an adventurer. I’m hunting for lions and tigers and monsters! But the buggies are cool too. I poke at one. Squish. Ha-ha! I like squishing stuff too. It’s all so interesting, and the sensations are nice too. But then a new sensation pushes aside all the others. I need to tinkle.

    No need to stop playing though, no need to abandon my exploration of the bushes along the fence. I just stand back up and let go, pee-pees arcing out from my doodle, splashing across the fence, watering the bushes and also my own feeties. No need for the potty since I’m nakey. That’s one of the best things about being little, even better than getting to play, getting to explore every day. As soon as we got home from daycare I stripped my clothes off, left them for the adults to clean up. I want to be all free, I want to feel the sun on my skin.

    When the tinkles are done, I run back to the driveway because I want to play another game. I’m going to drive the ambulance. I know what an ambulance is. They help people who got boo-boos, really bad ones. Boo-boos that can’t get fixed with a kiss and a cuddle and maybe a plaster. I like the ambulance people, cuz they help people. I want to help people too. When I’m big, maybe I’ll drive the ambulance for real.

    I’m sitting down, playing with my ambulance, imagining it racing to help a boy who fell out of a really big tree, when I get this funny feeling. I don’t know what it is, I have no words to describe it. I just… I feel so strange….

    It’s kind of like waking up from a really good, really deep sleep. Except that I’m not in bed. And it isn’t morning, it’s mid-afternoon. But that’s the only sensation that I can compare it to. Suddenly I feel so alert, so awake, so aware of my situation.

    The plastic toy ambulance in my hands had been so absolutely captivating only moments ago. It had been my entire world. Now it’s just a dumb toy, sitting on the pavement between my legs.

    I can feel the pavement under my bottom. It’s warm and gritty. Yes, I’m sitting naked in the driveway. At least the fence and the gate give me some privacy. But it’s not perfect. Anyone could peek over the fence or between the wooden slats. What a sight I would be. A fully grown man, naked and playing with children’s toys.

    My skin was dirty, a plaster on my arm from a cut I got climbing a tree, my knees scabbed from a tumble at the playground where Chris and Ken took us late in the evening, after the families had gone. I reached up and felt my hair. Ugh, it was cut so short. I used to spend half an hour getting it just right in the morning, using gel, styling it. Now I had a buzz cut. My feet were bowed out in front of me. I pulled one closer, looking at the blackened bare sole. Even scrubbing in the bath wouldn’t remove all that dirt, it was like my skin was permanently stained. I poked at it, feeling the skin. It was tough as shoe leather, callused all over from constantly running around barefoot.

    How long had I been dumbed down for? I remembered my time as a grown toddler, but not perfectly. Would my memories fade with time, like with a dream; so clear when you first awoke, but forgotten by mid-day? There was no sense of time, except that it had been lengthy. I recalled too many events, too many separate days for it to have been just a couple weeks or even months.

    We weren’t at our old flat anymore. Chris and Ken had moved us long ago. I remembered the journey, seeming like a huge adventure at the time, exciting and fun. But really they’d stolen us away, to a place where no one we’d known before could find us. Here everyone simply knew us as three intellectually impaired men and their two doting caregivers. No one would begin to imagine we were once independent, intelligent university students.

    But now I was back, I was me again. My thoughts felt both strangely foreign and comfortable and familiar at the same time. It was like visiting your childhood home as an adult.

    A shadow fell across me and I looked over at a new pair of bare feet standing on the pavement to my right. Benny gaped down at me, a finger jammed deep up his nose, picking away, his other hand idly toying with his soft penis.

    “I wan’ da twuck,” he stated, pointing at my toy.

    “It’s an ambulance,” I told him, though I felt silly even trying to correct him.

    “My twuck,” Benny insisted, oblivious to his error. “Mine!”

    He squatted down, grabbing the toy ambulance away from me, smiling at his successful theft and then pushing it along the driveway, mooning me with his big bare bottom as he went.

    No sign of any recovery from Benny, so why was I suddenly thinking so clearly? Did it really matter though? I had my mental capacity back, at least for now. A part of me was terrified it would be short-lived though. I needed to act, needed to get a move on. But for the moment I was overcome by the torrent of memories washing over me.

    I had these clear memories of my time as Chris and Ken’s dumb little tot, but suddenly all those memories had new meaning for me. There was so much that I’d seen but not understood. So much that had seemed normal, seemed perfectly acceptable, now horrified me. So many people had seen me in that diminished state. So many pitying looks from strangers.

    I touched my wrist, feeling where the harness attached when we went somewhere public, the leash that kept me from running off, from getting into trouble because I didn’t know any better. How had I accepted that without a word of complaint? Now I recalled the shaking heads, the sad looks from people we passed in the mall, seeing me being led along barefoot and leashed, sucking on a binkie or picking my nose as we went, obviously incompetent.

    I couldn’t go back to that. I wondered if I should simply run right out of the yard, try to flag down a passing car. No one would likely stop for a naked man, they’d think I was crazy or dangerous. But they probably would call the police and that would be just as good.

    There was no time to waste. In seconds I was on my feet, making my move. The pavement was hot, scorching really, but it didn’t bother my thick soles. I guess I should be thankful, I didn’t need to go back for shoes to make my escape. As I hurried past Benny I felt a little guilty to be leaving him behind. But it’s just for a little while, I reminded myself. The cops would come, they’d save Benny and Liam. Then we’d find some way to fix them, give them their minds back too.

    “Where goin’?” Benny called after me.

    There was no time to explain. Chris and Ken couldn’t be too far away. They wouldn’t leave us unsupervised for long.

    “I’ll be back soon,” I told him, reaching the gate.

    But when I looked down at the latch, something strange happened. It was a simple latch, it wasn’t locked or anything. But when I looked at it, when I reached for it, I couldn’t recall how to work it at all. There was this growing blank space in my head. And this voice telling me good boys stay in the yard.

    Fuck it, I’d just have to climb over. That wasn’t so bad. I’d been climbing trees and playground structures often, after all. Little boys love to climb and explore the voice reminded me, bringing a pleasant smile to my face.

    I shook my head, knocking the voice away. Time to climb. I grabbed the top of the gate, starting to pull myself up. A wave of tingles and giddy confusion swept over me. Why am I climbing the gate? I know it’s super important, that it can’t wait, but why? I’m supposed to stay in the yard. I let go and dropped back onto the pavement. Mmm, it’s so warm under my feeties. Little boys love being barefoot. I stand there and wiggle my toes, enjoying the rough, solid sensations under my soles. My doodle begins to slowly jerk upwards, filling with nice tingles as well.

    Then I remember, I was climbing the gate to escape, to get away from Chris and especially Ken, who have stolen my entire adult life, my identity from me. It’s crystal clear in my mind again. I need to go, right this second.

    I grab the top of the gate once again, but instantly I feel the fuzziness returning so I let go. I release the fence like it was electric, like it had burnt my hands. Mercifully the rush of fuzzy tingling recedes as quickly as it came on. But it’s replaced by a growing sense of fear and horror. I’m trapped. Whatever they did to my mind, only part of it has come undone.

    I almost screamed out loud when a hand grabbed my own. But it was just Benny, the toy ambulance abandoned now.

    “Lez pway hide ‘n seek,” he declared.

    Poor Benny, so utterly reduced, and I’d helped him accept that, I’d encouraged his regressed mentality, his toddler behaviour. No more of that.

    “Ben, you aren’t a toddler,” I told him, taking his hands in my own, looking him in the eye. “You’re a grown man Ben. You’re smart. You go to university. You just need to remember.”

    Benny pouted.

    “Dun wanna pway pwetend,” he whined. “Wanna pway hide ‘n seek Ewic!”

    “It isn’t pretend Ben. I want you to try and remember the time before you got all little. You remember that you used to be big, don’t you?”

    I could see the cogs turning in his simple little head. It took some effort, but it looked like he still had those memories.

    “I was big boy,” he agreed at last.

    “That’s right Ben, you were big and smart and you did stuff all by yourself. You can do that all again. You can drive a car, go to big school, wear the clothes you choose for yourself…”

    Benny frowned. “I wike nakey!”

    I shook my head. “No Benny, you just think you do because Ken told you that.”

    Benny was clearly confused. This was all much too complicated for him. He shook his head, yanking his hands away from me.

    “Dun wike dis game. Gonna pway wid Wiam.”

    “It’s not a game,” I pleaded. But Benny was done listening. He had turned around and raced off into the house to find Liam, leaving me defeated and alone.

    I couldn’t bring him back on my own, the hypnotic programming was much too strong. The only solution was to get help, and if I couldn’t leave, I’d have to bring them here. And that meant going into the house and finding a phone. My pulse quickened at the very thought. Chris and Ken probably had plans ready in case the hypnosis wore off. They could probably just play my trigger again on their phones.

    The idea of losing this all again terrified me. Now I knew what was truly at stake. The vacant expression on Benny’s face, the utter confusion in his empty eyes when I tried to explain things to him reminded me how crippled my own brain had been, how I must have looked to everyone else. No wonder they pitied me. I couldn’t let that happen again, and I couldn’t leave Benny and Liam in that state. I owed that to them, especially to Liam.

    The inside of the house looked like a place where small children lived. Toys were abandoned helter-skelter on the floors, on the stairs. I could hear Thomas the Tank Engine playing on the living room TV. I peeked into the room, spotting Liam there, climbing along the top of the couch. He leapt down onto the cushions, bouncing and somersaulting down onto the floor, giggling his head off, then quickly jumping back up and climbing to the top of the couch to repeat his game.

    It looked a bit dangerous to me, and again Liam was apparently unsupervised. I wasn’t going to bother trying to snap him out of it though. It was too risky and likely futile. Focus on finding a phone instead. I just had to hope Chris or Ken had left their phone lying around somewhere. At least I wouldn’t need their pin code since emergency numbers worked without one.

    I snuck along the hallway to the kitchen, edging my nose around the corner. No one was in the kitchen. It was a mess, with dishes piled up in the sink, a bunch of toy cars on the floor, scribbled crayon drawings displayed on the fridge door. But most importantly, there was a phone just sitting on the table. My heart leapt and my eyes went wide the second I spotted it.

    “What are you looking for Silly Billy?”

    I hadn’t heard Chris come up behind me, but there he was. Shit, I had to decide what to do fast. Did I punch him in the face, try to incapacitate him? Did I make a beeline for the phone, grab it and run? No, it was too risky when Ken could be in the next room over. I couldn’t face them both and if one of them managed to play my trigger it was all over, maybe forever.

    “Pay hide ‘n theek,” I replied, putting on my best little boy voice and diction.

    It felt strange to speak like that, even though it had been my norm for so long. Now it was an act and I wasn’t sure I could get it just right.

    “Are you the hider or the seeker?” Chris asked in the bright, lilting tone people used with small children.

    “I hide,” I answered quickly.

    “Well then, you better find a good spot. I don’t think there’s anywhere good in the kitchen though,” Chris said.

    Damn, I was so close, the phone was just lying there. I pointed at the table.

    “Under dere,” I chirped as brightly as I could, forcing an idiotic grin onto my face.

    Chris chuckled. “Oh sweetie, they’ll spot you right away under the table.”

    Shit. I had to pull out the toddler stubbornness.

    “Under dere!” I almost shouted, stamping my foot and pouting.

    Was it too much? Would he know something was off?

    Chris put his hand on my back, rubbing it soothingly. “Hey now, let’s take a breath and use our inside voice. Okay Eric?”

    I kept pouting, but I at least gave him a nod.

    “Imma good hider,” I told him more quietly.

    “I know, you’re a very good hider. But I need to do some work here in the kitchen, so why don’t we find you a better hiding place somewhere else, okay?”

    God this was infuriating. He was being too reasonable, and then even worse, he walked right into the kitchen past me and picked up the phone. Now I would actually have to hide somewhere. I was so close!

    “Just remember to stay out of the office. I don’t want you hiding in there again,” Chris warned.

    The office. As soon as he said it I knew there was another way. It wasn’t actually an office. It was the room where Ken and Chris brought strangers, usually young men, and subjected them to their special treatments. I only got glimpses of a couple of them before they went into the office. They kept us boys out of sight before that. But when they emerged from the office we were all there to see it.

    The men invariably walked out naked, either sporting impressive erections or shiny tummies that showed they’d already had their ejaculation. And then they would play with us for the rest of the day. I loved it of course. We would suddenly have a brand new playmate. They had big bodies but little minds, just like us. Sometimes they’d stay the night, and we’d share a bed, which usually resulted in curious fingers probing my penis until we ended up doing stickies together. But in the end, usually late in the evening, some man would come and take them away. They never stayed more than a day.

    It had all seemed like lovely innocent fun at the time. A regular procession of new playmates for us. But now I understood what was really happening. Ken and Chris had perfected the hypnotic methods they had experimented with for months at the university. They had taken what they learned and gone freelance. Now they were trafficking helplessly dumbed down men. Were they regressing them to order? Were they selling them to the highest bidder?

    I felt physically sick. I was sure I was going to vomit. But I managed to hold it in, to keep from drawing Chris’ attention again. I had to get out of his sight, so I hurried down the hallway and up the stairs. I rested at the top of them, breathing hard, sweating as I came to grips with what was happening. This was how they were paying the bills. This was how they could afford to clothe and feed… no, just feed, three grown men who were incapable of earning an income.

    Nevertheless this did present me a new opportunity to escape. If they had a programming room, it must be able to do the reverse as well. I felt a sudden swelling up of hope for the first time since I’d regained my awareness. Liam and Benny might not be lost after all. Maybe I could bring them back and reverse whatever was left of my own programming.

    I crept along the carpeted hallway to the forbidden room. The door was closed, but was it locked? No, the door opened easily, thankfully without any creaking. I stepped inside and closed the door behind me, being as quiet as I could.

    There was a projector hanging from the ceiling, pointed at the far wall, which was bare and white. The other walls were covered in soundproofing material. A comfortable looking chair sat in the middle of the room. At the back was a desk with a computer on it, connected to the projector. Other than that the room was bare. I looked more closely at the chair. There weren’t any restraints on it at least. Maybe they drugged the men first, so they wouldn’t look away, wouldn’t squirm.

    I stepped over to the computer. It needed a password of course. Ken had once told me his, a year or so ago, when he needed me to find a file on his computer. I just hoped he hadn’t changed passwords, and that it was his computer and not Chris’. I typed it in and hit enter.

    Incorrect Password

    Damn it. I tried it again with the first letter capitalised. Same result. I couldn’t keep going much longer or it would lock me out for too many failed attempts and then they’d know I was aware again.

    But I didn’t get another chance anyway. As I stood there with my hands on the keyboard, the door swung open without warning and I found myself face to face with Ken.

    He looked surprised for a moment, then asked, “Eric, what are you doing in here?”

    I bashed at random keys, putting on my biggest, dumbest smile once again.

    “Ewic work in da office. Imma big boy!”

    I cringed at the idiocy of my statement, certain I’d overdone it again.

    Ken frowned. “Eric, you know very well you are not allowed in this room. You get your butt away from the computer this instant,” he ordered firmly.

    Pouting, I stepped back from the computer, waiting as Ken came over to check it.

    “I hope you haven’t locked me out of my own account,” he said with a sigh, typing his password and hitting enter.

    This time the password was accepted and a home screen loaded.

    “Well at least that’s not messed up. Now come on Mr Office Worker, we have things to do,” he declared, taking my hand and leading me out of the room.

    “Where we goin’?” I asked.

    “We need to get something for dinner at the supermarket. Chris needs quiet while he works, so you and your brothers are coming with me,” he explained as we headed down the stairs.

    We were heading out in public. This was perfect, now I just had to bide my time and then I could alert people to our situation. I had to fight the urge to smile as I thought about how Ken would react when I suddenly spoke in full adult sentences and blew his cover.

    The other good thing about going out was that Ken had to give me some clothes to wear. It still felt weird to me when my penis just swished back and forth all free and dangly with every step. So it was a relief to step into the undies Ken provided, even if they were covered in dinosaur prints. I got shorts too, baggy cut-off jorts. They were certainly not what I would have chosen, but they were better than nothing, quite literally.

    To be concluded...

    Volunteers: Chapter 4

    “So how long are they going to be like this, for real?” I asked Ken.  

    We were back at home now, Liam’s first day at daycare with Benny finished.  The two young men were both on the kitchen floor now as Ken and I cleaned up after dinner.  Liam was no longer able to help out. Now his face was just as messy as Benny’s, tomato sauce across his cheeks and his chin.  They were both naked, their clothes stripped away as soon as they got home.  And now Liam was wearing a colander on his head, giggling and squirming on the floor with his legs splayed wide apart, his penis softly jiggling between his legs.  

    “You not so keen on taking care of two grown toddlers?” Ken asked, smiling as he dried the dishes and placed them in the drainer.  

    “Well no, that’s not really something I was hoping for,” I agreed. “But I was more thinking about them.  You told Liam this would be long-term. I assumed that was a lie, to make him really fight it.”  

    Ken stopped drying dishes and looked at me.  “Of course it was a lie.  You think I want to give up my whole academic career to what, stay home looking after two toddlers with full-sized bodies?”  

    I stopped washing dishes too.  “So how long are they going to be like this?” 

    “Well the project is all around making long-term behavioural changes, so I can’t promise you things will be back to normal that quickly.  We need to know if they snap out of it after a few days, or a week or two weeks… or longer.”  

    I shook my head.  “So, we’re supposed to take care of them like this for what, a month? More?”  

    “Not exactly.  There will be help coming, other researchers on the team will be helping out more, starting tomorrow. There are more people in the study too of course. It isn’t just us.  There’s a whole team working on caring for them,” he explained.  

    “But what about Liam and Benny? I mean, they’re missing out on a lot of study time.  And how do we know being like this for that long won’t leave permanent damage?” I asked. 

    “There’s no physical damage done to the brain. They should be fine once it’s reversed. But of course, that is one of the things we’re studying.  If there is damage, we need to know.”  

    “What about informed consent? This can’t be ethical.”  

    “Actually it was all in the fine print of the consents they signed,” Ken assured me.  

    I gave him a questioning look.  “You know people don’t read those things. You’re supposed to make sure they really understand what they’re agreeing to. Otherwise it isn’t really informed consent at all”  

    “I was pretty honest about what the treatment’s goal was. They didn’t believe it would really work, but that’s not my fault,” Ken argued.  

    He had me there.  “I just think they wouldn’t be happy with how they’re behaving now, how people might actually see them.”  

    “Well I need to bring them to campus in a couple days, for the testing. So yeah, people are going to see them.  But they don’t mind at all right now, they’re both very happy just as they are.”  

    The colander on Liam’s head clattered to the floor, interrupting us.  I looked down to make sure he wasn’t doing any damage.  No, he was just leaning back, right foot held tightly in his hands, filthy big toe in his mouth, sucking away at it.  His eyes were so empty, looking cross-eyed at the toes he was nibbling.  How could he let the programming do this to him? No physical changes made after all, he’d simply allowed his mind to shut away all his reasoning abilities, all his self-awareness.  

    “I know they think they’re happy, it’s just, they don’t really want this. They couldn’t.”  

    “The programme made it incredibly arousing for them, you saw that.  Guys just can’t fight that kind of thing, that’s what we’re proving here.  You missed Benny’s change, but you saw it happen to Liam. Losing his smarts, it was better than an orgasm for him,” Ken insisted. “Frankly I’m a little jealous, aren’t you?”  

    “No,” I answered instantly.  How could he even ask that while Liam was sitting there at our feet, nibbling on his own toes?  

    Ken simply shrugged.  “I mean of course I’m not jealous of all of it. I’m not saying I want to be doing that,” he agreed, gesturing to Liam.  “But the freedom from all societal constraints, the ability to just be comfortable in your own skin, the total release from any sense of shame or self-awareness or self-doubt, of course I find that enviable.”

    “So why didn’t you volunteer then? If it’s all so wonderful?” 

    “I actually did consider it.  We needed to know if it made a difference if you knew the whole programming sequence, or if it only worked on the unaware.  But becoming part of the experiment would mean missing out on the chance to see the results.  So I decided against it.”  

    I snorted. “Of course you did. No one who knows the results would actually volunteer.”  

    “Actually Mike did volunteer.  He acted all reluctant, but I could tell that he was curious.  He wanted to know how it actually felt.  I mean, aren’t you curious, what it’s actually like for them? What’s in their little heads now?” he asked.  

    On that point he had me.  It was a thought I’d had many times, though certainly not enough to volunteer to join Benny and Liam.  Sure you’d find out what it was like for them, but then what. You couldn’t tell anyone. You’d be just as helpless and at the mercy of the researchers to decide when you got your mind back.  If they decided it was going to be a month… two, there’d be absolutely nothing you could do about it. 

    “Not that curious,” I answered dryly.  “Have I met Mike?”    

    “Yeah, he came for that game night we had in August.  He’s tall, has dark black hair, kind of skinny.”  

    “Oh yeah, I remember him, a bit quiet right?”  

    Ken chuckled. “Yeah he was quite the little nerd, nose buried in books all the time.  Not anymore of course.”  

    “So it worked on him? Even knowing the whole system?”  

    Ken snapped his fingers. “Worked like a charm.”  

    “So did he tell you what it was like? Afterwards I mean.”  

    Ken shook his head.  “No, no, he joined the experiment as a subject. Once you’re in, that is, you’re in for the duration.” 

    My jaw literally dropped.  But Ken had the proof.  He scrolled through his phone a moment, then held it up to show me a photo.  I recognised the man I’d met at game night, but only just.  In the photo he was sitting in what could only be described as a massive high chair, wearing only two clothing items: a pull-up and a pointy party hat.  He was an absolute mess, his hands digging through a cake on the tray before him.  The frosting and cake was all over his face, his bare chest, his fingers.  And he looked absolutely ecstatic, an ear to ear open-mouthed grin on his dumbed down face.  It could have been a second birthday, except that next to the 2 candle, there was a 5 as well.  He was twenty-five, not two.  

    “It was his birthday last week, so we all got together and threw him a party,” Ken explained.  “He loved it though, not like before. He’s not a quiet little toddler at all. He’s the loudest, messiest big little tyke around.”  

    How could a scene look so innocent and happy and be so horrifying at the same time?

    I just really didn’t feel comfortable with it.  Later that evening Ken went to draw them a bath, leaving me alone with Benny and Liam.  They were playing with their Duplo Blocks on the floor, mostly throwing them, knocking them together and chewing on them.  I knelt down next to Liam, patting his bare bottom, feeling that smooth skin.  

    Liam looked back at me, twisting around and sitting heavily on his bottom.  He offered me a red block, dripping with his spittle.  

    “No thanks Liam,” I told him.  

    “Hab bwock!” he insisted, shoving it at me.  

    Finally I took it to prevent a tantrum.  Liam grinned as I said, “Thank you Liam.” 

    “Tank-oo!” he echoed. 

    “No Liam, you say, ‘you’re welcome’,” I corrected. 

    “Tank-oo!” he repeated.  “Tank-oo! Tank-oo!” he shouted over and over, grinning all the more at his cheekiness.  

    “Okay then, okay. Inside voice buddy.”  

    Liam stopped shouting but then reached out with his open hand.  

    “Gib bwock?” he asked, wanting me to give it back to him now apparently.  

    “You want the block?” I asked. 

    “Mine!” he declared.  

    “I’ll give it back, but you have to answer my questions. Okay?”  

    Liam nodded eagerly.  

    “Do you remember being big, being all smart?” 

    “Wiam was big boy,” he agreed, nodding again.  

    “And you’re not a big boy now, are you?” 

    “Nuh-uh. Widdle.”  

    “Do you like being little?”  

    Liam smiled now.  “Yeth!”  

    “Why? Don’t you miss getting to do all sorts of big boy things?” I asked. 

    Liam looked confused. “Was dat?” he asked. 

    “Like going to school.”

    “Wiam go school. Wiam pway. Made pitchur!”  

    He meant the paper scribbled in indecipherable crayon marks that now adorned the fridge door.

    “Yes, you went to daycare, but that’s not the same as school.  I mean, don’t you miss watching grown-up TV?”  

    Liam pointed at the TV.  “Watch Peppa!” he announced very brightly.  

    “We watch Peppa!” Benny now joined in, creeping over to me on hands and knees, penis and balls dangling between his bare thighs. “Peppa piggy!”  

    “But what about South Park? You used to love South Park,” I reminded them.  

    Both young men had looks of blank incomprehension. A line of drool began to hang from Benny’s chin while Liam grew distracted by his blocks again, bringing one to his mouth to gnaw on.  

    I needed more time, but Ken walked back in before I could ask any more questions.  

    “Okay boys, it’s bathy time!” he announced, and just like that Liam forgot all about his block. He rushed right after Benny and soon both men were splashing about in the bath together before being tucked into the same bed, cuddling together.  There was no fuzzy onesie for Liam tonight though.  There was no more need for such half-measures.  Instead they snuggled together skin on skin. No doubt it would only be a matter of time before their pee-pees met and began to hump against each other.  The sheets would need washing in the morning.    

    **

    “So this is their normal level of functioning?”  

    It was actually kind of embarrassing even for me, having an outsider come in and see how Benny and Liam now behaved.  Chris was a grad student too, and he was here to help out with caring for the boys.  Apparently he would be a regular part of our little household from now on.  

    Even though he was in on the experiment and had to know what to expect, it still made me feel awkward for Liam and Benny, being exposed like this in front of a complete stranger.  Both mentally reduced men were watching Sesame Street, naked on the floor of the living room.  Liam was cuddling a stuffy, chewing on the fuzzy ear of the stuffed elephant.  Benny was clapping his hands, shouting nonsense at Big Bird.  

    “Yeah, this is pretty much normal,” I answered Chris.  

    There was no daycare today, since it was Saturday. So we just had them at home all day.  I was a little relieved to have the extra hands, but still found it uncomfortable.  I felt ashamed on behalf of Liam and Benny, even though they were oblivious to the stranger watching them play naked on the floor.  

    “They’re always nude like this?” Chris followed up.  

    “Well, yeah, they basically insist on having their clothes off,” I said, feeling quite defensive.  

    “Of course, it’s part of the programming, stripping away all modesty, giving them a strong urge to show it all off, be exhibitionists basically. I’m just checking it’s all been effective,” Chris explained, clearly noting my defensive tone.  

    “Right, I understand.”  

    Liam stood up suddenly, turning around to face us, stuffed elephant still cuddled against his chest.  His penis was standing straight up. Oh God, he was excited again. And he came right up to Chris and I, his erection pointing forward.  

    “Goz big doodle,” he announced, not an ounce of shame about telling this to a stranger.  

    “Yeah, we can see that honey,” I told him as calmly as I could.  

    “Is he often erect?” Chris asked, sounding so clinical.  

    “Um… yeah, it’s pretty normal for him,” I admitted.  

    “That’s good, it shows the programming is working well, he’s aroused by his littleness.  And when he’s erect, do you offer him manual stimulation?” he asked me. 

    “I’m sorry?” I gasped, blushing deeply.  

    “Do you let him masturbate, or do you help?”

    “Well… I mean, sometimes, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable now…” I stammered. 

    Jesus, what must he think of me?  Deep down I knew all of this was just so wrong.  But for some reason every time I felt that concern, my arousal at what was happening to Benny and Liam seemed to double and I couldn’t bring myself to stop it.  But having to explain my actions to this man made me even more uncomfortable.  

    I was relieved that Chris didn’t immediately call me a pervert.  No he seemed totally unconcerned with my semi-admission.  Instead he simply turned to face Liam and his whole demeanour changed.  Suddenly Chris had this big smile on his face and he reached over and rubbed Liam’s arm gently.  

    “My goodness that’s a happy doodle you have there Liam,” he said to the man.  

    Liam gaped at this stranger and nodded, still no hint of awareness of how he must look.  

    “Ids all big,” he agreed.  

    “You must really like being all silly and little.  You’re such a very happy little boy, aren’t you sweetie-pie?” Chris cooed to him.  

    And far from being offended, Liam began to grin too, nodding agreeably.  

    “I think you’d love some tickles on that happy doodle, wouldn’t you honey?”  

    And now Liam nodded even harder, almost shoving his erection forward at Chris.  Oh God, it was so embarrassing. He hadn’t even wanted me to see him like this, and now he was showing off to a total stranger.  Fuck, why did that have me harder than ever in my own pants?  

    Chris moved his hand down, lightly running his fingers across Liam’s doodle, watching the man moan in ecstasy.  

    “That’s right Liam, you’re my happy little dumb-dumb now,” Chris mocked him.  

    But Liam just nodded all the more, giggling lightly.  

    “Let’s give you a nice reward for letting us empty your head out,” he said, then closing his fingers around Liam’s penis and beginning to stroke it up and down in earnest.  

    I could barely watch it, but I also couldn’t look away.  Chris expertly worked on Liam’s penis, cuddling the man into his arms, urging him on. He wouldn’t stop until he blew his load right there in the middle of the room.  And I just stood there, watching it myself.  I mean what could I do? It’s not like I could take the moral high ground and tell him to stop it when I’d done the exact same thing.  

    And Liam looked so happy. His eyes had rolled back in his head, he was resting his chin on Chris’ shoulder and he was making these little moans.  He had adult needs and Chris was helping him with them. How could I object to that?  

    Liam’s body tensed up and I could see he was close.  His head jerked back and he let out a louder grunt, his body jerked as he let out a torrent of cum all over his tummy as Chris pointed his cock there.  

    “Good job Liam,” he praised him. “What a lovely mess you’ve made.”  

    Liam lapped up the praise, happy to let Chris clean his tummy of the sticky mess and then drop back to the carpet, watching Sesame Street again like this was nothing at all.  

    I was being torn apart inside.  How could I feel such revulsion and such arousal at the same time? And how could I feel so awful for Liam, but also have these pangs of powerful jealousy, of envy?  

    How awful to be so oblivious, to be manipulated by this stranger.  But how nice would it be to have Chris, who was quite handsome, just walk up to me and stroke my cock.  

    Ken arrived back a minute later, unaware of what had just happened of course.  

    “So, everything under control in here?” he asked.   

    “Well Chris just gave Liam a handy,” I commented right away, wondering what Ken would think of that.  

    Ken chuckled. “I bet he loves you already then,” he told Chris.  

    Apparently he saw nothing at all wrong with this.  

    “You’ll have to help Benny,” Ken went on.  “That way you’ll have both of them following you around like a puppy.  Don’t worry, Benny will need a squirt by afternoon at the latest.”  

    I was really not happy with the way they were talking about our friends, like they weren’t full people. Of course that’s how they saw them now. Without their adult minds, reduced to toddler intellect, they weren’t truly seen as equals. They were just small tots in big bodies.  Their status as adults had been completely stripped away. They weren’t deserving of dignity, of being treated with any respect.  They were simple minded creatures to be kept entertained and controlled.  

    “Right, well you guys seem to have control here, so I’m going to have a break, head out for the day,” I announced.  

    I was resigned to the fact Liam and Benny would be left in this reduced state for some time, but I needed a break from it.  I needed to get out of this house and clear my head.  But when I told them I was leaving, Chris and Ken looked unhappy.  

    “Actually Eric, we need you to stay,” Ken told me.  

    “What, why?”  

    They shared another look with each other. I didn’t like that, it was like I was being left out.  

    “Well, actually now that Chris is here, I need to tell you about another part of the experiment,” Ken went on.  

    “So there’s actually a third method we have been testing in addition to hypnotic trance session and night-time subliminal training.  We have also been testing a computer programme which inserts subliminal messaging and hypnotic suggestions into web browsing or other phone apps.”  

    I didn’t like where this was going at all.  But I had never signed a release, I couldn’t be in this experiment.  

    “So what’s that got to do with me?” I asked. “I’m not going to volunteer for anything like that. I have zero interest in running around naked with a moron’s grin, getting jacked off by Chris,” I told them, even though that was at least in part a lie. Getting jacked off by Chris was something I couldn’t get out of my head now.  

    Ken shrugged. “You don’t have to volunteer now Eric. You already did, right back at the start. I just made you forget about it.”  

    My stomach rolled over and knotted up.  “What?!”  

    “I put the programming on your phone weeks ago. You’ve been seeing the suggestions every single time you’ve used it since,” he explained matter of factly, as though these revelations were barely news.  

    I felt sick to my stomach. 

    “So you’ve been making me treat Liam and Benny this way?” I snapped. “You’ve hypnotised me into going along with this? That’s why I feel so torn up inside about it!”   

    But Ken shook his head this time. “No, no, not like that.  Sorry mate, but you don’t get off that easy.  The suggestions have been making you find it arousing, but that’s all.  I haven’t taken away your free will.  Let me ask, did you ever study the Milgram Experiment?”  

    “No, was that about brainwashing your friends too?”  

    “No, it was about the willingness of normal people to do terrible things when directed by an authority figure.  Milgram wanted to know if the Nazi henchmen’s defence of just following orders was actually credible.  He got subjects to deliver lethal doses of electric shocks to completely innocent test subjects, even as they demanded to be released.  

    “Now none of the people apparently being tortured were real, they were just acting, but the true subjects didn’t know that. And yet two-thirds of them were willing to deliver lethal electric shocks just because a man in a white lab coat told them to.”  

    I felt like an idiot.  I’d gone along with the experiment, even though I knew it was wrong, because I had accepted Ken’s authority as a researcher and because he’d made me aroused by it.  I’d simply been letting my cock do the thinking for me.  

    “Of course those aren’t the only suggestions you’ve been getting,” Ken went on. 

    My heart skipped at least a couple beats.   

    “You’ve also been getting the same suggestions as Liam and Benny.  Suggestions telling you how lovely it will feel to lose all your smarts, how incredibly arousing it is to be dumb and little and dependent on a grown-up to keep you safe and happy.  Telling you how wonderful it is to be a nudist. All that and more,” he explained.  

    I was dumbfounded. What could I say? At least that explained the very strange jealousy I’d been experiencing.  So much of my internal struggles made sense to me now.  

    “Has there been any leakage?” Chris asked him.  

    “No, none at all,” Ken answered. 

    “Leakage?” I asked.  

    “Suggestions taking effect without being triggered. We saw Liam had a lot of it. He was already constantly barefoot, even started being shirtless long before being actually triggered.”  

    “That’s right!” I agreed. “Nothing like that has happened to me.”  

    Chris nodded. “That tracks with the others.”  

    “Huh?”  

    Ken explained, “The night time suggestions have caused a lot of leakage in the other cases too. But the phone programming has been pretty consistent in having no leakage.”  

    “Others?” I asked, my heart sinking again.  

    “There have already been a few other phone subjects triggered. So far the phone programming is proving far superior. No leakage at all and in each case so far, a very quick and very complete regression of intellect and behaviour as soon as it’s triggered,” Chris answered.  

    I shook my head, my heart-rate picking up even more now.  “I don’t want to be part of the experiment,” I told them, feeling desperate, feeling trapped. 

    Ken nodded. “I know that Eric, of course. And by all means fight against it. We want you to fight it.  But the thing is, no one has been able to so far.  So I’m afraid you’re going to be joining Benny and Liam on the floor in a moment.  Your clothes will be packed away like theirs and you’ll be watching Elmo with the happiest of smiles and the very biggest of erections.  And we’ll all be able to see it too.  

    “Maybe you’ll even present it to Chris. You know how good he is with making doodles feel good.  I bet you’ll want to show it to him, let him touch it, make it feel extra good.  There won’t be any modesty left in you after all. You’ve seen Liam and Benny, so you have the advantage of knowing how good it’s going to feel.”   

    I knew exactly what he meant.  I’d seen this happen to Liam.  If anybody could have fought against it, Liam would have.  After all, he was the smartest among us, the strongest willed.  I looked back down at him on the floor, chewing on the ratty ear of his stuffy, wide eyes glued to Sesame Street. No, he had been the smartest among us, but he sure wasn’t anymore.  And if he’d ended up like that, what hope did I have?  

    So I needed to get out of here, I needed to leave while I still could.  No one had their phone out so there was still time.  Forget reasoning with them, I could see both Ken and Chris were committed to regressing me the same as the others.  So I turned around, headed straight for the front door.  Get out of the house, then worry about what next.   

    “Check your phone Eric!” Ken called after me.  

    Check my phone? Why on Earth would I do that?  

    But my hand went to my pocket and I pulled out my phone.  I didn’t seem to be in control of my own hand.  I was at the front door, but I couldn’t bring myself to open it yet. I needed to unlock my phone first.  Unlock it and see there’s a notification, I’ve got a new audio file.  No.  Stop.  Put the phone away.  But my thumb moves to the icon, it betrays me.  And I watch myself tap play.  

    And then I heard the music. The silliest and yet most beautiful of melodies.   

    You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out and you shake it all about

    You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around

    That’s what it’s all about!  

    I had to fight it!  But as soon as I heard the words I knew with utter and complete certainty that I couldn’t fight it.  There was no way to fight it. I was going to get little, I was going to be as dumb and naked and messy and silly as Benny and Liam. I was going to be helpless and dependent and not seen as a real person who mattered anymore. No one would ask my opinion, no one would care what I thought. I would just be a dumb toddler man down on the floor at the grown-ups’ feet, left out of conversations, ignored unless I made a mess that demanded immediate attention.  

    I was going to be little and it was going to feel so absolutely wonderful.  A rush of arousal coursed through my body from head to toe.  I was getting dumb and little and it was the greatest sensation I’d ever known.  And there was no way to fight that. I’d never felt more certain of anything in my life.  And I knew that once it happened, as soon as all my smarts were gone, I would have no ability to get them back, no way to remember the things I was about to forget.  

    Oh God, I was going to forget so, so much.  How to drive a car. How to add numbers. How to count. How to read. How to recognise letters.  How to speak in full sentences. How to use a fork and knife.  I was going to forget it all. I knew it right now, but in just a few minutes. No, in seconds, I wouldn’t know any of that.  Years of education gone in seconds. 

    But at the same time, deep inside me, I knew I wanted to forget it, because it just felt so, so good and I couldn’t stop it anyway. So why fight it at all? Why fight when it was inevitable and it felt so amazing.  God my penis was so big, so hard, pulsing with arousal, ready to explode with the greatest orgasm ever.  And all I had to do was to forget. 

    It’s so easy to forget things. It’s not like learning stuff. That’s hard. Forgetting is simple. We do that without needing to think about it at all.  So I didn’t even have to decide to forget. Suddenly I just realised I was forgetting stuff. It was happening fast too. And all I really knew about it was that it kind of tickled and tingled, really deep inside my head. And then that lovely pleasure would wash over me in waves as I forgot more and more. No need to fight it, no point. Just enjoy the waves of bliss.  Let it go, let everything go.  

    **

    Chris rubs my arm. He’s very close to me. He’s looking me in the eye, looking so intensely at me.  And he’s smiley, he’s looking so kind, so friendly.  He was someone special wasn’t he?  I knew his name. But everything else, it was gone. I forgot it. I forgot a lot just now. So many tingles.  

    “That was a pretty song, wasn’t it Eric?” he asks.  

    Song? Oh yes, the silly song that made me all tingly.  I nod my head. I need to answer him. I need to use my words.  

    “Pwetty,” I agreed. 

    That was only one word. 

     It was so hard to think of any. I should be talking to Chris, but I just couldn’t remember any words, or how to put them together. It wasn’t just that they were missing. The whole process of thinking of words, putting them together and using them seemed incredibly complex now.  I just felt so slow, so dumb.  

    But Chris didn’t seem to mind my simple word.  He nodded, he smiled even bigger. I’d done good. The grown-up was happy with me.  That felt very important now.  It made me smile too. 

    “The song made you very happy didn’t it honey? I can tell because your doodle got all big and happy,” he told me.  

    He pointed down, and I looked and saw my shorts were all lumpy.  I poked at the bulge. Ooh, that tingled! I poke it again.  There’s a vague sense I should know what this lump is, that it’s important. But I draw a blank.  

    “Look how big and pokey your doodle is!  I think it wants to come and play, Eric.  Should we get that pee-pee out? Should we let it be free, like Benny and Liam?” Chris asks me.  

    I look over at Benny and Liam, playing on the carpet.  They’re all nakey. They have their pee-pees out. I can see them bobbing around.  They’re dumb babies.  And suddenly it clicks. 

    I’m a baby now too.  It’s so obvious and so certain in my mind. I’m a little boy. The pretty song made me all little and it worked.  And that’s so good. I know it’s very good.  And little boys can be nakey.  Grown-ups can’t do that, it’s naughty.  But for little ones it’s perfectly okay, in fact it’s a good thing!  Yes, I need my pee-pee out too.  

    “Uh-huh!” I quickly agreed. “Ewic widdle! Be nakey!” I announced.  

    I felt so good for telling the grown-ups this important news.  And they were all nodding and smiling. Yes, I’d done very well.  I was a very good boy.  

    “Okay Eric, let’s get you all comfy then,” Chris agreed.  

    He helped me take off my big person clothes. It was so silly that I had on big grown-up clothes like them, like I was all big.  Little boys shouldn’t wear big people clothes.  That was naughty.  Chris helped me get the naughty clothes off. When he finally slipped the big boy undies down, my pee-pee just waggled out and stood straight up.  A little bit of goo was dribbling down it and it was all red and pointy and big.  I poked at it while he got my undies off my feeties.  Each poke made it waggle back and forth and I felt even more pleasant tingles. 

    “There we go, isn’t it so comfy being nakey? I bet you want to be like this all the time!” Chris told me.  

    He was right! He was a very smart grown-up. Chris and Ken knew everything. It was very comfy being nakey, much nicer than naughty big person clothes.  I hopped up and down and my pee-pee was all flappy and it was so nice to have it all free.  I’d gotten all little and it made me feel so good, so tingly, especially in my doodle.  

    “Doodle happy!” I told them.  

    They both chuckled. So I laugh too, I want to be just like them.  

    “Let’s help you with that then.  You deserve a lovely treat for being such a good boy and listening to your pretty song,” Ken told me.  He’d been watching Chris help me, smiling, pleased.  But now he took over.   

    A treat? Goodie!  I wonder what it is. Maybe a toy to play with.  Or something yummy to eat!  

    But then he runs his fingers over my doodle. Oh! It feels amazing, like feathers of pleasure. The tingles instantly increase and spread.  I push my doodle towards him. I want more tingles. He strokes my pee-pee, he makes it feel perfect.  I love my treat. I’ve been a good boy. I deserve my happy tingles.  I’m so happy I listened to the pretty song so I could get to be all nakey, get to have pee-pee rubs from Ken.

    “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this,” Ken tells me as he pulls me in closer, wraps his other arm around my back, pats it gently.  

    “Ever since you moved in, I’ve had my eye on you,” Ken went on.  “It’s just too bad you were such a modest guy, never even giving me a peek, always with your socks on around the house even.”

    I’m not really sure what Ken is talking about, but it doesn’t sound happy.  

    “I had you in mind when I designed this experiment in fact. It all began with me fantasising about how to get you walking around the house shirtless, get you running around barefoot in public.  I wanted to come home and find you lying on the couch with dirty soles propped up on the arm for us all to see.”  

    Ken’s fingers kept on working my doodle.  They were so warm, so soft. My toes curled into the carpet as the tingles shot through me and I could feel I was getting close, close to something even better.  

    “That’s how it began.  But you know how fantasies can grow once they’re seeded.  And mine sure did. It took on a life of its own.  That’s where the idea for the experiment came from. You should really feel honoured, that I went through all of this trouble for you,” he whispered in my ear.  

    But I didn’t really understand.  My head was all slow and muddled now.  All I understood was that Ken had done something really big for me, because he liked me.  And now he was making me feel so good.  Ken’s so good to me. I like him too.     

    The tingles got better and better until, oh, ugh, I’m filled with ecstasy, the best feeling ever.  And I’m peeing too. It’s not normal tinkles though. It’s gooey, it’s all over my tummy.  

    “That’s it Eric, make your stickies!” Ken encouraged me.  “You’ve done such a good job, I think I’ll help you make them everyday from now on.”  

    That sounded perfect.  The special pee-pees I did felt so much better than normal tinkles.  And they’re all warm and gooey on my tummy.  I want to play with the mess. I like how it feels in my fingers, all sticky and warm.  I want to show Chris and Ken, show them what I made. But Ken just cleans it away with a warm cloth. It’s icky stuff, not for playing with.  

    That’s okay. The grown-ups are busy doing adult stuff anyway now.  They’re working in the kitchen making food. They’re talking about grown-up things. I stand there and watch them. I don’t know what they’re doing. I don’t know what the things they’re using are. It’s all incredibly familiar. I know I’ve seen these things many times. I know I’ve used them before. But now, I just can’t remember how to do any of it.  

    I don’t understand what they’re talking about either. So many words I don’t understand, don’t even recognise. And they talk fast and they don’t look at me.  It’s just noise to me.  My attention wanders and I want to play with the other little boys instead.  They’re on the floor. Little boys belong on the floor.  I get down on my hands and knees with them. 

    Benny and Liam and I play with the toy cars. We push them around and crash them together and make noises for them.  We pretend we’re driving them, like big people. The idea of actually driving a real car seems ridiculous though. But little boys can pretend, even if it’s very silly.  

    We play and play while the grown-ups do their things. When we get tired of the cars Benny and Liam get out the pots and pans and bang them and make noise.  I smack the pot too. It makes a rewarding thwack sound.  I made a sound! It’s fun to make sounds!  I do it again and again.  

    I get bored of that too though.  I sit back on my bum and feel the sticky floor under my bottom.  It reminds me that I’m nakey. I hadn’t even thought about that since I done my stickies.  Now I look down at my body. I poke my pee-pee. It’s all soft now, it’s gone nighty-nights between my legs.  I pick at my belly button for a minute.  Then I notice my feet. I can wiggle my toes.  I examine them closer, wiggle them, smell them.  I pull my toes to my mouth, suck on them, slip my tongue between them to feel them, taste them.  

    Ken points at me and says something to the others. The grown-ups are all smiling and laughing as they watch me.  I smile around my toes. I like making the grown-ups happy.  

    Ken kneels down and says, “Are you our little toe-muncher now Eric?”  

    Toe muncher? Haha, that’s right. I’m eating my toes.  Ken is smiling though, so he must be happy with me.  

    “Yeff!” I tell him, letting the toes go, so I can talk.  

    “Are they yummy?” he asks.  

    I’m not sure if they are. But I want to make Ken happy.  “Uh-huh. Yummy toes,” I agreed.  

    He laughed again. Yes, I was a very good boy.  I grabbed my foot again, sucked on my toes more, so Ken would see how silly and good I am.  

    “So when do we move?” Chris asks Ken.  

    “You have to be patient, I’m not sacrificing my degree, I’ve worked too long and hard for that.  A few more weeks, make sure it’s clear the experiment is a failure, but we don’t take the blame.” Ken answered him.  

    “I know, Mike designed the programming, but what if they question him, what if they bring him back…” 

    “He’s as empty-headed as the rest of them, they aren’t going to get any sensible answers out of him,” Ken interrupted.  

    Chris nodded, putting his arms around Ken, hugging him tightly.  Ken responded by squeezing Chris right back, pecking a kiss on his cheek.  

    “It’s just a long time to wait,” Chris whispered.  

    “Starting a family usually takes nine months. We’re getting ours in much less than that,” Ken reminded him.  

    Chris nodded his head against Ken’s shoulder.  “I can wait. It’s worth it to be with you, to have our little boys.”  

    I listen to their conversation and I can see they love each other. I understand that much.  And they want to be a family.  That’s a good thing too.  But the rest of it… it’s just much too complicated for me now. I don’t even try to follow all the big words.  I focus on my nummy toes, feeling them wiggle as I suck on them.  I don’t need to worry about big things anymore, Ken and Chris will take care of everything.  

    To be continued...

    Volunteers: Chapter 3

    Liam was waiting for me when I got home.  As soon as I saw him I knew things had changed again.  He was on the floor again, cartoons on but this time he wasn’t alone. He wasn’t hiding his love of the simple cartoons.  Benny was on the floor right next to him, sitting cross-legged and nursing his thumb.  Ken was on the couch, watching the pair, smiling.  He gave me a look as soon as I walked in, a look that let me know he was pleased with what he saw.  

    Liam wasn’t wearing a shirt.  He was sitting there in just his shorts apparently.  I could see every bump on his spine, just like Benny.  Well Benny was nude as usual, but side by side they no longer looked so different.  

    But Liam didn’t seem to care. Yesterday he had been ashamed I’d caught him watching cartoons. Today he seemed totally at ease sitting on the floor at Ken’s feet, on the same level as Benny, both figuratively and literally.  

    As soon as he saw me he had other things on his mind. He quickly climbed to his feet and rushed right over to me.  It was so weird to see him like this, like a hyperactive little kid.  

    “Eric you’re home! You have to come with me,” he urged, grabbing my hand.  

    Ken just shrugged, smiling again as Liam quickly led me away, back to his room.  

    “What is it?” I asked once he’d closed the door.  

    His breathing was faster and when he turned around I could see the bulge in his shorts.  

    “I gotta show you,” he said, not really bothering to keep his voice low.

    He dropped onto his bed and lifted both his feet up, watching me so eagerly.  The soles of his feet were black again and he looked so proud to show them off.  It was amazing, they really were even dirtier than yesterday and he wasn’t nervous about it anymore. 

    “My goodness, those are the ickiest little boy feet I’ve ever seen,” I told him.  

    The look of elation on his face was incredible.  The bulge in his shorts grew even bigger.  I sat down on the bed next to him, putting my hand on his back, feeling that nice warm skin.  

    “How’d you even manage to get those feeties so filthy?” I asked him.  

    “I ran around the whole campus before I came home,” he explained.  

    “You ran around barefoot, and everyone saw you,” I said. 

    “Uh-huh,” he agreed, quivering with arousal.  

    “That must have been so much fun.”

    “Felt so good,” he agreed.  

    “And what happened to your shirt?”  

    “Well Benny got home and took his clothes off again and I just… It looked so good. And then Ken noticed me staring and suggested I take off my shirt, get more comfy.”

    “So you did?” 

    Liam bit his lip uncomfortably.  

    “I know it’s silly, it’s exactly what Ken wants.  But I just couldn’t wear it anymore. I… I want even more off. I keep thinking about being like Benny, about how that must feel. He just runs around with his penis bouncing around all free. And he’s so comfy like that and I know it must feel great. And he just… he looks so, so little, all nakey-bummed.  And it makes me so horny thinking about it and I want to feel it too,” he explained.  

    I rubbed his back comfortingly.  “I totally understand.  But if that’s how you feel, why are you still wearing those shorts?”  

    Suddenly Liam was shaking his head, looking scandalised.  “I can’t be naked like that!” he insisted.  “I’d be so embarrassed if I actually ever did it, even if just you and Ken saw me like that.  I’d never live down the shame.”  

    He went silent a moment, biting his lip, then admitted, “But I just can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t stop thinking about what it would feel like and how it would feel not to care, to be totally oblivious, to not even have a concept of modesty or privacy, like Benny.”  

    “But you don’t feel self-conscious about being shirtless, being barefoot?”  

    He shook his head. “Not really.  It’s kind of  like being at the beach, but all the time. I’ve been barefoot in public before. I get that people think I look dumb, like a hippy or a kid and that… that just makes me feel so horny. 

    “But naked… no, that’s for babies. I still have my intellect, I haven’t forgotten who I am.”  

    “I can see that,” I assured him.  

    “So… can we cuddle? I’m so hard down there,” he begged, squirming, looking like a kid who needed to pee.  .  

    “Well, how about we have a cuddle back in the living room,” I suggested. 

    But Liam quickly shook his head. “Ken can’t know,” he insisted. 

    “Oh honey, Ken’s seen those dirty soles. He has to know you’ve been running around barefoot all day. And he’s seen you watching the cartoons and playing on the floor with no shirt on. He knows the programming is working on you.  Let’s go show him how cuddly you are. You know how nicely he cuddles Benny. Wouldn’t you like a cuddle from him too?”  

    Liam squirmed uncomfortably.  “I don’t want to cuddle with him. I want cuddles with you Eric. And I don’t want him to watch. I’m… I’m shy okay.”  

    “That’s fine buddy,” I assured him. “Let’s cuddle right here.”  

    I barely had the words out and he was cuddling me tight, thrusting into my stomach, needing the release.  Wow, that programming was incredible. It had him so horny he was masturbating twice a day now.  

    **

    “It’s his last night,” Ken said as we cleaned up the toys.  

    Benny had gone to sleep at eight as usual, tucked in by Ken.  Liam had headed off to bed at ten, a bit earlier than his normal as well.  Aside from being shirtless and barefoot he hadn’t behaved too childishly once Benny was in bed. He’d just watched TV with us, played on his phone, then headed off once he began yawning.  

    “Yeah, and it seems like it’s been working pretty well on him. But nothing like Benny,” I noted. 

    Ken chuckled. “No, not like Benny, but there have certainly been some changes. I know he’s been coming to you for cuddles and stickies.”

    I blushed deep red.  There was no point denying it, Ken clearly knew all too well how Liam felt about me.  But there was no judgement in his voice, he seemed pleased that I’d been helping Liam with his needs.  

    “Yeah, I think he’s had a crush on me for a long time.  And now… well he’s able to show his affection.”  

    “Yeah, the programming makes him horny pretty much all the time, so it’s not surprising.  He’s aroused by his own regression, though you’ve no doubt already realised that by now. I know you’re a smart guy, you know how this works.”

    I nodded.  “He’s been getting aroused by being barefoot in public, getting his feet dirty.  I didn’t think that would be a part of the experiment,” I noted, implying but not directly saying what I thought.  

    Ken smirked.  “Yeah I added that to the programming myself.  It’s not so much that I like feet, it’s just I always loved being barefoot as a kid and my friends were the same.  We were kind of wild, playful kids, always messy, always in trouble.  But I know that you guys weren’t like that. You were the neat kids, the ones who didn’t climb too high in the trees, didn’t jump in the mud puddles, didn’t go to school barefoot rain or shine.  

    “So I added in a few personality changes to the programming too and I might have gone a bit over the top on the bare feet and dirtiness.  But so far, I think it’s pretty adorable, don’t you?”  

    “Yeah, I guess they are pretty cute that way.  But I’m a little worried they’ll be pissed off afterwards. Aren’t you?”  

    Ken shrugged. “You let me worry about that.”  

    “Okay then.  But how far is this going to go? I mean Liam’s starting to want to be naked now too.  He’s fighting for now anyway.”   

    Ken shook his head. “There’s no way to fight that level of arousal, and it will only get better tomorrow.”  

    “Really?” 

    Ken nodded. “The final programming phase is the strongest and most important.  He won’t be going to university tomorrow, he’ll be joining Benny at daycare. I’ve already told them to expect a second boy with the same level of intellectual impairment.”  

    “It hasn’t touched his intellect though. His behaviours have changed a bit, but he seems as sharp as ever.”  

    “Oh he is right now. I just checked his latest IQ test and there’s been no change.  His self-image, his emotions, his personality, they’ve all had some changes.  But the IQ hasn’t been touched. I know that’s what scares him the most, so I’ve left it to the very end.”

    I felt a little troubled about that. I knew Liam specifically didn’t want his intelligence touched.  “Are you sure he really wants to go through with that? I mean yeah, he volunteered, but I don’t know that he expected it to really work.”  

    “I know he was sceptical, but don’t worry, when it actually happens he’s going to enjoy it, he’s going to find it the most exciting part yet.  He won’t even miss all those smarts.”

      **

    Before I went to bed I ducked my head into Liam’s room, looking down at him fast asleep in his powder blue onesie once again, headphones over his ears, already getting his last dose of programming.  I considered pulling them off, waking him up and warning him.  But he was already listening. He’s taken the pill and been in bed over an hour now. It was probably too late already.  Better to let it be complete then, rather than interrupt.  So I went to bed myself.  

    I wondered if I’d be woken by a morning visitor again, coming for cuddles, for release.  To be honest I went to sleep expecting it.  But what actually woke me was my alarm.  I turned it off and looked around my still mostly dark room. Nobody was there but me.  Huh, that was actually surprising now.  

    I got up and padded softly over to Liam’s room, to see if he was up yet.  And there I discovered why I’d been left unbothered today.  Liam and Benny were in bed together, all tangled up. Benny’s naked form was intertwined with Liam, still in his fuzzy onesie.  They were both asleep, but the still drying sticky mess across the tummy of Liam’s onesie told me they’d had some fun together.  No doubt the inside was just as sticky from Liam’s own release.  

    Carefully I ran my hair through Liam’s hair until his eyes fluttered open.  

    “Wakey-wakey,” I cooed.  

    “Oh, hi Eric,” he greeted me.  “I cuddled with Benny this morning.”  

    “Yeah, I see that. Looks like you both enjoyed your cuddles.”  

    He blushed and nodded.  “Benny’s a really good cuddler.”  

    Strange, he didn’t seem mentally gone at all.  And sure enough he had soon got up, grabbed some shorts and new undies and went to the bathroom to change.  He returned soon after, wearing his shorts now, still acting mentally adult.  Looked like it wasn’t so successful after all. I wondered if Ken would be disappointed.  

    By breakfast time Benny was standing nude in the kitchen, pushing the fridge magnets around the fridge door, making raspberry noises and singing nonsense to himself.  Liam just shook his head at the mentally challenged boy’s play and ate his froot loops, clearly still feeling vastly superior to his dumbed down buddy.  

    “Are you going to go to class shirtless today?” I asked him.  

    “I really want to, but I know I can’t,” he admitted.  

    “It’s the last day, are you sure you don’t want to join Benny, go to daycare?” I asked him.  

    He looked at me like I was crazy.  “Look, I know it worked on me a bit, made me need to do some silly stuff. But I’m not like Benny. It didn’t work all the way.”  

    “And you don’t want to be like Benny? You told me yesterday it looked fun, being all naked like that. You change your mind?”  

    “No, I mean, yeah it looks so comfy and I can’t stop thinking about it, even now.  But I still have my self-control. I know I’m a grown-up. Sure I can get away with being barefoot. People just think I’m a hippy.  But I can’t be half-naked.”  

    Ken walked into the kitchen just then, looking bright and chipper.  

    “Last morning of the programming,” he announced. “So looks like Benny is all ready for another lovely day at daycare, aren’t you buddy?” he cooed to the nudist twenty-something.  

    Benny giggled lightly and knocked several magnets on the floor.  

    “Go boom!” he announced, hopping on his feet so his penis flopped wildly up and down.  

    “What a silly boy he is,” Ken commented.  “And now we just need to get you ready for daycare too,” he said to Liam.  

    Liam looked confused. “No, I’m still going to uni today Ken. Sorry but the programme didn’t work on me.”  

    “Didn’t work? That’s not what I’ve been seeing. You show me those feeties and tell me they aren’t icky little boy feet.”  

    The phrase seemed to make Liam shiver with a wave of arousal, but he held on.  

    “I know some stuff worked, but not the important things. I still have my intellect, my awareness. So no, I’m not going to daycare like this.”  

    “Well no, not like that. The daycare is for intellectually impaired people. Icky little kid feet aren’t enough. We need you down on the floor, sucking on those icky toes.”  

    “Well yeah. And you don’t see me doing that, do you? I mean, yuck!”  

    “You aren’t yet, but in a second, after I trigger the programming, you will be.”  

    Trigger? I froze, wondering what Ken was talking about.  Liam also looked shocked and worried now.  

    “What do you mean?” he asked.  

    “Well you’ve had five nights of programming and as you’ve noted some of it is so powerful that it’s leaked through, changed your behaviour without even being fully triggered.  I guess some of it appealed to your natural inclinations. I know you were a very clean, smart little kid but I bet you were jealous of the sillier boys, the wild little tykes.  You felt a bit jealous of that part of it when you saw Benny embrace barefootedness. 

    “You probably always liked Froot Loops, secretly enjoyed cartoons and the programming has let you embrace those parts of yourself.  And I guess that means you probably have had a little crush on Eric, maybe on Benny too.  And the suggestions let you embrace that, let you reveal your urges to them.  And it’s all been so exciting, so arousing, you’ve really enjoyed it.  

    “But the other aspects, the changes to your intellect, you fought that. And the total loss of inhibitions, that’s scared you too.  But don’t worry, when I trigger it, it’s going to be euphoric, I promise.”  

    Liam shook his head. God, he looked terrified now. He believed it, he had to.  He’d seen how his behaviour had changed and he’d seen Benny.  Of course he was scared.  

    “I don’t want that Ken.  Let’s just end the experiment now,” he begged.  

    “I know, the last thing you want is people seeing you all dumbed down, all dependent and helpless.  You hate pity. But they won’t pity you buddy, they’re going to think you’re just adorable.”  

    Liam didn’t look convinced in the slightest.  “I’m not going to just let you do this.”  

    “That’s fine Liam, because I don’t want you to. I want you to go ahead and fight it as hard as you can.  Because that’s the whole point. It has to work even when the subject doesn’t want it, when they fight it with all they have.  If you can maintain your maturity and smarts then we know the programming is a fail and we will alter it.  And you’ll be free to tell me how superior you are and go right back to uni.  

    “But if it works, if you’re a happy little nakey boy dancing around the yard for anyone to see this afternoon, then we know it’s totally effective.” 

    “And then what?” 

    “Sorry?” 

    “If it works. Then what happens to me tomorrow, the next day?”  

    “Well you’ll wake up in bed with Benny. Your penis will be all big and hard. And you’ll be able to see it, since you’ll be nakey, same as him.  And you’ll roll over and cuddle your brother close and hump and grind your doodles together until you’ve had a lovely release.  And then you’ll come through to my room, to get cleaned up, to get dressed for daycare, just a pair of shorts of course.  

    “And you’ll have a wonderful day of play with the other special boys.  No one will ever, ever guess that the silly shirtless boy bashing a square peg into a round hole was once a genius.  The carers will watch you nibble your icky little boy bare feeties and they’ll be certain you’re just as utterly impaired as any of them.

    “And that’s pretty much how your day will be next week too, and the week after that.”  

    Liam’s face was drained of colour.  “When do you give me the reversal programme then?”  

    “We’re still working out a few of the bugs on it.  In the meantime I’ll be in charge and I’ll be keeping you safe and happy.  But yes, if you don’t like the sound of that, by all means resist.  Do your best to fight it. Because if you can’t fight it, if you give in, you’re going to be playing naked in the yard for quite some time to come.”  

    “I’m not doing that,” Liam insisted. 

    Ken shrugged. “Don’t feel too angry. When you’re out there in that yard, when the postie passes by and sees you squatting in the grass. You’re going to have the biggest erection, because you’re going to be aroused by your loss of intellect and inhibitions. It’s going to be the most exciting thing you’ve ever imagined.”  

    Liam looked so determined, so certain he would fight it.  And frankly I couldn’t see him just letting that happen.  

    Ken shrugged, then took out his phone and hit a button.  And suddenly this silly, inane, nursery rhyme began to play from it.  

    *The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout 

    Down came the rain and washed the spider out…*

    I was confused of course. But Liam got a strange look as the music played. His eyes went wide and all the anger and determination very quickly faded from his face.  His muscles were relaxing and his eyes were glazing over.  

    *Out came the sun and dried up all the rain

    And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again*

    I could see the bulge in Liam’s shorts growing again, tenting right out as he sprouted an impressive erection.  But the rest of his body was still relaxing, his shoulders sagging, arms limp like wet noodles, a little line of drool spilling over the lips of his gaping mouth.  

    The song stopped playing. It was only a short rhyme after all.  But the change it had made in Liam seemed profound.  He stood there, looking totally out of it, staring ahead with empty eyes, no expression on his face at all.  He was obviously in some kind of trance.  

    “There we go, you see Liam, it wasn’t so bad, losing all those big smart thoughts,” Ken told him brightly.  “Now we need to get you ready for daycare, and that means changing your clothes.”  

    Ken reached down, grabbing Liam’s shorts and his undies in his hands all at once.  Then he yanked them down, letting them fall to a heap around his ankles.  Wow, Liam’s erect penis was just standing there now, for all of us to see.  Even Benny was gaping slack-jawed up at it as he played on the floor.  Suddenly he wasn’t the only boy with his pee-pee out.  

    Liam’s eyes flicked down to his exposed erection for a second. He blinked, some awareness returning to his face now.  

    “Okay, one foot at a time, out of those silly big boy shorts and undies,” Ken directed him, slipping the clothes off him.  

    Liam looked at the shorts being taken away. He seemed aware now, but he still hadn’t said a word.  

    “Okay, I’ll go get you some new clothes for daycare.  Won’t that be fun, playing with the other little boys?” Ken cooed to him, then headed off to get the new clothes, leaving Liam with me.  

    Liam looked back down at his bare body, then up at me.  He seemed to at last recognise me and he turned and quickly toddled right over to me, holding out his arms, grabbing onto my arms.  

    “What is it Liam?” I asked him.  “Are you still fighting it buddy? Are you still trying to hold it together?” I asked. 

    Liam gaped a moment then said, “Wookit! Wookit!”  

    And he hopped up and down. His erect penis bobbed about as well and Liam smiled.  

    “Doodle big!” Liam announced happily.  “Feew good!” 

    And I saw the look of utter elation on his face. Yes, he’d enjoyed what had just happened.  He’d given up all his genius, all his self-control and it was obvious that it must have felt amazing. 

    “Did it feel good losing all your smarts?” I asked him.  

    Liam smiled and giggled all the more. 

    “Yes, I think they’re all completely gone, aren’t they Liam. You aren’t a genius anymore are you honey?”  

    “I nakey,” Liam replied, poking at his own penis, watching it waggle again.  

    I had to chuckle.  “Yes, you sure are nakey. You’re a silly little nakey boy.  And now I think you need to make some stickies, don’t you? Cuz getting all dumb felt really good, didn’t it?”  

    “Stickies,” Liam agreed, understanding at least that much.  

    I reached down, letting my fingers run across his doodle.  Oh yes, he was very close to exploding already. That must have felt really good indeed.  

    “You want me to help honey? You want me to give you squirts?” I asked him.  

    A vigorous nod was my answer.  

    I closed my fingers around his shaft and stroked up and down.  I could already tell this wouldn’t take much at all.  He was so close to the edge already.  

    “You got all little, all that genius gone bye-byes so quickly,” I cooed to him.  

    Liam nodded, drool coating his chin now.  “Wiam goz widdle,” he agreed.  

    It took less than a minute. Ken wasn’t even back yet, when Liam exploded, shooting his cum all over the floor, my hand and arm.  His body bucked and he made these cute little grunts.  One rope of cum even ended up right across poor Benny’s face.  I’d have to clean them both up with a washcloth.  

    When Ken came back with the clothes Liam was down on the floor next to Benny. The two naked young men were pushing the magnets around side by side.  Liam blew a raspberry up at us, banging a P magnet against an H.  

    “Hey Liam, look you got pH.  You remember what that means?” I asked him.  

    He looked at the magnets again, then dropped the P and jammed the corner of the H in his mouth, chewing on the hard plastic for a moment while gazing up at me with the blankest of eyes.  

    “I guess that’s a no,” I commented to Ken.  

    Daycare meant that Liam’s nudity was short-lived for now. Ken quickly had him dressed in a new pair of cartoon-print undies and baggy board shorts.  No shirt though, since he was so insistent he didn’t want one.  

    “No sirt!” he kept demanding, crossing his arms defiantly when shown the Elmo one Ken had picked out.  

    “Okay, no shirt for Liam,” Ken agreed.  

    So ten minutes later that’s how Liam went out to the car, climbing right into the back seat along with Benny, waiting for Ken and I to strap them both in now. 

    “Have fun at daycare buddy,” I told him, pecking a kiss on his forehead.  

    “Goin day-cawe,” he echoed.  

    “Yep, and you’ll have lots of fun, I know it,” I assured him.  

    He was barely listening. He had his right foot in his hands and was playing with his toes.  Yep, he was going to fit right in there.  No one would ever guess this man gazing at his own toes with absolute wonder, was a genius an hour ago.  

    To be continued...

    Volunteers: Chapter 2

    Ken took charge of Benny for the rest of the night. It wasn’t long.  A bath before bed and then a bed time of 8PM meant that Benny was asleep about four hours earlier than normal.  But he didn’t complain, he happily gave each of us another cuddle before heading off to bed.  

    It was a bit different the second time, as he toddled over with his pee-pee soft and jiggling between his legs, looking only for a night-night hug from Liam and I.  But it was still very enjoyable, feeling his warm bare skin under my arms.  It filled me with so many conflicting feelings. 

    Soon enough it was time for the rest of us to sleep.  I watched Liam take the pill he’d been instructed to take half an hour before bed.  Then he got his noise cancelling headphones ready and I couldn’t stay silent any longer.  Once Ken was off to his own room I snuck over to Liam’s.  

    “Are you really going to listen to that programme?” I whispered to him.  

    Liam didn’t look happy anymore, but he still nodded.  “I promised to help out. I don’t like going back on my promises,” he told me.  

    “I can understand that, but surely there are exceptions. You saw what happened to Ben. That’s no act. He’s running around naked, he masturbated in front of us all, on top of me.  He tasted his own cum dude!  I mean, do you want to end up like that?”  

    “Fuck no!” Liam whispered back.  “Look of course I don’t want to be running around naked. You know I don’t even like using a urinal in the toilets.  But I still don’t think it’s likely to work on me like that. Subliminal messages don’t have the same power as a proper trance session, I googled it.”

    “You didn’t think it would work so well on Ben either,” I pointed out.  

    He sighed, knowing I was right on that.  

    “Look, it’s meant to take several days. I’m not going to wake up tomorrow dumb as a post. If I start feeling anything weird I’ll stop the experiment.  And if you notice anything weird about my behaviour that I’m not aware of, you let me know too, okay?”  

    I nodded. “Of course.”  

    “Hopefully I can just help show that subliminals don’t work well,” Liam said.  “Now, let’s get to sleep and just get this over with.”  

    **

    It was the shifting of weight on my bed that woke me the next morning.  It was light out, but it was still earlier than my alarms were set for.  I had been dreaming about taking a road trip with the cast of Big Bang Theory.  And then suddenly I was being pulled back to reality.  But my reality was somehow even stranger than my dream.  

    Benny was kneeling on my bed, chewing on his fingers, blinking innocently at me.  He was still naked, Ken had put him to bed that way.  And he was erect again.  Was it normal morning wood? Or was it something else?  

    I blinked the sleep from my eyes and said, “Hi there, you’re up early.”  

    “I wike you,” he told me.  

    “Oh… thanks.  I like you too buddy,” I told him.  

    “Pee-pee tingwy,” he told me, like this was a perfectly normal thing to tell another guy.  

    “Oh… you mean right now?”  

    He nodded. But then said, “You make tingwy.”  

    I thought about this for a moment then asked, “Benny, do you remember being bigger?”  

    He nodded.  

    “And did I make your pee-pee tingly then too?”  

    He nodded right away.  

    Wow, he did have a crush on me.  I’d honestly never known.  I mean given how our society is, that’s not hugely surprising.  But now his inhibitions were gone, he was free to tell me how he really felt.  It was adorable really.  

    I pulled back the covers a bit and said, “You wanna cuddle more?”  

    Benny nodded right away, then climbed under the covers with me, snuggling right in. Oh he was so warm and solid in my arms.  

    “You make my pee-pee tingly too,” I whispered to him.  

    Benny looked at me in awe. “Gotta do stickies?” he asked me.  

    Stickies. Oh, that’s what Ken had called the mess on Benny’s tummy last night, when he cleaned him up.  

    “Yeah, I do need stickies,” I admitted.  

    “Gonna do ‘em?” he asked me, apparently waiting for me to grind my penis against him.  

    “Nah, that’s okay buddy. You can make yours if you need to though,” I told him.  

    He looked at me with confusion.  “No stickies?” he asked again.  

    I reached my hand down and let my fingers run ever so gently across his penis. Benny inhaled sharply, then sighed, his eyes rolling back a bit.  

    “I think you need more stickies, don’t you buddy?”  

    Instantly he shoved his erection against my thigh, pulling his body tight against mine and beginning to hump.  I held him close, feeling his warm, sticky skin under my hands, waiting as he thrust against me for a full minute, until he spasmed and enjoyed another lovely sticky release.  

    Of course I wanted to cum too, but it wouldn’t have been right. Let him enjoy it, let him have his fun.  I was the grown-up here, I had to show restraint. I already wasn’t sure if this counted as taking advantage of Benny as it was.  But I told myself it was okay, because he needed the release, he was enjoying this.  And if I enjoyed it too, what was wrong with that?   

    **

    “It’s an adult daycare,” Ken explained.  “A lot of the people have genetic conditions. Some suffered brain injuries though.  All have intellectual impairment of some kind or another and can’t be left alone while their carers go to work. But they aren’t so impaired they need to be in an institution.”  

    “And do they know Benny is part of an experiment? That he’s not intellectually impaired?” I asked.  

    Ken gestured over at Benny.  He was sitting on the kitchen floor again, an assortment of pots and a wooden spoon as a drumstick around him.  But he wasn’t drumming now. He had been examining his toes instead. And examination had progressed to exploring them with his mouth. He was just sitting there, still naked, with several toes jammed between his lips.  

    “Eric, he is intellectually impaired.  He can’t name his colours, he can’t tell you how many toes he has, only how good they taste apparently.  It doesn’t really matter how he ended up with a profound intellectual disability, only that he has one.”  

    “But what do they think happened to him? I mean, what if he tells them the truth?” 

    “They think he had a brain injury from hypoxia.  And he doesn’t have the capacity to tell them the truth because he can’t even comprehend it now.  But even if he did, they’d just take it as fantasy. No one really listens to the ramblings of someone like that,” Ken assured me.  

    “I still don’t like the idea of people seeing him like this.  If he knew, I mean if Ben understood how he looks now, he’d be horrified.”  

    “We all have classes. Did you think we would be able to leave him home alone? Or were you going to bring him to your lab, hope he doesn’t touch anything while you aren’t looking?” 

    It was a fair point. There was no way we could leave him alone for even a minute. He was so mentally reduced he needed constant supervision or he was liable to choke on some toy, or shove a coin up his nose.  

    “Morning,” Liam greeted us as he walked into the kitchen.  

    “Well good morning buddy,” Ken replied, using a sickly sweet tone that repulsed me.  

    Liam gave him a disdainful look, going straight to the cabinet to get cereal, his daily breakfast.  

    “You want some froot loops today? I got some special at the supermarket,” Ken told him.  

    “Nah, I’ll stick to Weetbix thanks.”  

    “You sure? It’s super sweet and yummy,” Ken enticed. 

    Pouring himself the Weetbix and milk, Liam shook his head. “I’m not a moron Ken, I still feel totally normal.”  

    “Are you sure about that? No funny feelings at all?” Ken checked. 

    “Not a thing,” Liam assured him. “And no, I’m not going to that stupid adult daycare you’re packing Benny off to. I’ve got research to work on at the lab.”  

    Ken shrugged. “Fair enough, no change so far. But we will still need to do a formal interview this afternoon, okay?” 

    “Yep, I’ll be free after four.”  

    “Great, we can do it then.  But now we need to get Benny dressed for his day. We can’t be sending him to daycare in his birthday suit.”  

    Benny’s outfit included a simple red t-shirt, a pair of undies decorated with basketballs and some baggy athletic shorts that just brushed his knees.  

    He was very compliant as Ken and I got him dressed.  He just stood there, nibbling on his fingers again, totally unconcerned with how he was to be dressed. We could have actually taken him there nude and he wouldn’t have said a word of complaint, I was sure.  I wondered if we could have put him in a bright pink dress. I suspected we could have.  

    “Aw dwethed!” he announced when we had finished.  

    “You sure are! And now it’s off to daycare,” Ken told him enthusiastically.  

    Benny liked the tone of voice, hopping up and down and clapping his hands.  

    “Help me get him strapped into the car, could you?” Ken asked me.  

    “Yep.”  

    Ken took his hand now, leading Benny out the door to his car, to the back seat.  I noticed they didn’t stop to get Benny’s shoes though. 

    “No shoes?” I asked, though Benny seemed oblivious as usual.  

    “Nah, he looks cuter this way, don’t you think? More like a real little kid.”  

    He was actually right.  “Yeah, he is cute in bare feet.  But will the daycare mind?”  

    Ken shrugged. “Normal daycares have their kids barefoot all the time.  Why should this be any different?”  

    Benny didn’t complain, he let us strap him into the car, ready to go barefoot to adult daycare without a care in the world.  

    “Bye-bye Benny. Have fun at daycare buddy,” I told him after I got his seatbelt on.  

    “Bye-bye!” he chirped back, offering me a flappy toddler wave, pressing his feet against the front seat. .  

    God he really was cute like this.  

    **

    It was the morning after Liam’s third night listening to the programming that I walked into the kitchen to find an unexpected sight.  Liam was eating a bowl of cereal as usual, he was wearing his normal t-shirt and board shorts.  But the bowl was full of froot loops, brightly coloured, sugar-coated cereal, not his normal bland weetbix.  I’d never seen Liam have sweet cereal and especially not since Ken had been suggesting it.  

    “What you eating there?” I asked him.  

    Liam loudly slurped a spoonful of milk before answering.  

    “I decided to have froot loops today. Y’know, just so Ken will quit pestering me about it,” he said.  

    “Oh, right,” I said.  

    “They’re actually really good. But don’t tell him I said that!”  

    “It’ll be our secret,” I assured him.  

    I was conflicted now. I had promised Liam that I would tell him if anything he did seemed strange.  But I had also been told by Ken that I needed to strongly encourage any childish behaviour I saw in Liam, that it was key to the experiment.  But it seemed like Liam was aware that eating the froot loops was strange, so there was no need to alert him.  

    I kept quiet for the time being, helped Ken get Benny ready for another day at daycare, then started to get dressed myself.  It was only as I was about to go that I came across something much more troubling for my conscience.  

    Liam was standing at the front door. He had his school bag on his back and was still wearing his normal t-shirt and board shorts.  He often went to the lab or to classes dressed casually so this wasn’t odd.  But he was sort of staring at the pile of shoes with uncertainty. That was a bit weird.  

    “You okay Liam?” I asked him.  

    He looked up at me.  “I have a lecture to go to this morning. Then I need to go to the library after.”  

    “Uh-huh.”  

    “But… do you think I have to wear shoes?”

    I blinked in confusion.  “What?”  

    “You think I’d be in trouble if I went barefoot? Y’know, to class, and the library.”  

    In all the time I’d known Liam, I had never seen him leave the flat without shoes on. Sometimes he did just wear jandals, but most times he wore sneakers.  But never bare feet.  This was definitely strange behaviour for him.  

    Ken on the other hand liked having bare feet.  I’d never seen him go to class that way but he often didn’t bother with shoes for running to the shops or even the mall.  He’d mentioned that he’d pretty much never worn shoes until they were required for high school uniform.  That hadn’t struck me as too strange at the time, lots of primary school kids were like that.  But now I wondered about it.  Was Ken trying to make Ben and Liam like him? Did he like feet?  

    Thinking back to his decision to pack away all of Benny’s shoes, even the jandals, the answer seemed obvious now.  But should I point that out to Liam? Or should I encourage it?  I thought about Benny again, skipping barefoot to the car every morning, thinking about how cute it was. The truth was, I kind of liked seeing him that way too.    

    “Nah, I don’t think you’d get in any trouble,” I told Liam.  “I mean there’s always a couple guys barefoot on campus. Why do you ask though?”  

    “I just really don’t want to wear shoes today.  I just… it feels so much better with your feet all free, y’know?”  

    “Yeah… totally get it,” I told him.  

    “Thanks,” he chirped, turning away from the shoes and heading out the door barefoot without a second glance.  

    Wow, was this a sign it was working? It had to be.  But I wondered how much things could really change.  Would he grow aware of how weird it was for him to be barefoot like some hippy kid, no, like a little boy, at some point in the day?  I guess I’d know soon enough.  

    **

    Liam was already back when I got home that afternoon.  He was watching TV in the living room, which wouldn’t have been that odd, except it was a cartoon and not the adult kind.  When I walked in Liam seemed to only then realise I was there, the trance of the cartoons broken.  He had been sitting cross-legged on the floor instead of the couch and he was sort of peacefully smiling.  

    But as soon as he realised I was there he blushed deep red and scrambled with the remote, exiting back to the main Disney Plus catalogue screen.  

    “Oh hey, I didn’t hear you come in,” he said sheepishly.  

    “Yeah, you were pretty engrossed in your show I guess.”  

    “Oh, yeah, I was just, um, seeing what some of the other titles were like,” he claimed.  

    “Sure,” I said, letting it drop.  “So, Ken and Benny not home yet?”  

    “Nah, Ken too him to the park after picking him up from daycare.”  

    “Right, that’s cool.”  

    Liam nodded, then asked, “Hey, could you not tell Ken about the toons. I don’t want him to think I’m getting little.”  

    “Yeah, sure,” I agreed.  “But you haven’t been doing anything else little?” I asked. 

    Liam squirmed on the floor.  After a moment he twisted around and then held up his feet for me to see.  The soles of his feet were just as black as tar.  They were filthy.  

    “What is it?” I asked, not sure why he was showing me.  

    “I went barefoot all day and now my feet are… icky,” he said.  But he didn’t sound upset, didn’t sound sad that his feet were so dirty. No, the way he said it, he sounded like he was in awe.  

    “Yeah, I can see that. They’re filthy. But that’s what happens when you walk around barefoot in the city all day. It’ll wash off.”  

    He shook his head. “No, Eric, it’s not that. It’s… my feet are icky and it makes me all hard… down there.”  

    I blinked, trying to process that admission.  

    “You mean, you’re aroused?” 

    He nodded right away.  “I’ve been walking around the campus barefoot and it makes me so horny. And then I got home and I saw my soles and they’re so icky and I just got so hard right away.  They’re… they’re little kid feet.”  

    “They’re what?” I asked, confused.  

    “Little kids have icky feet because they never wear shoes.  Little kids are all mucky and dirty. And now I am too. And… I really, really like it.”  

    I nodded, not entirely sure what to say to that.  

    “Just… don’t tell Ken okay. Don’t tell him I’ve been barefoot at school.”  

    “I won’t.  If he asks why your feet are so… icky, you just tell him you were in the yard playing some football with me,” I told him.  

    Liam smiled. “Thanks.”  

    “No worries.”  

    We then switched to Netflix and watched something more adult. Liam climbed back onto the couch and did his best to act like nothing odd had happened.  When Ken got home with Benny, Liam seemed perfectly normal.  But I knew better of course. I knew the programming was actually working.  Or at least some of it was.  Liam wasn’t getting dumber as far as I could tell. And he still seemed able to act adult if needed.  

    He certainly wasn’t anything like Benny, who stripped nude within ten minutes of arriving home, made a mess of his dinner with spaghetti in his hair and everything and then cuddled up with Ken while they watched cartoons until his bath time.  

    “Would you like a bathy too?” Ken asked Liam in that saccharine sweet tone.  “I have bubbles and toys to play with. I’m sure you’d love it.”  

    Liam scowled at him and sarcastically said, “I’ll give that a pass this time.”  

    Ken shrugged and took Benny off to be bathed.  

    Once he was gone and the sounds of running water and then happy squeals and splashing reached us, Liam turned to me and said, “Hey Eric, can we go to my room for a minute?”  

    “Um, sure, you have something I need to look at?”  

    “Yeah, sort of,” he answered vaguely, getting up and heading to his room.  

    I wondered what this was about.  Maybe he was getting nervous about continuing and needed to talk to me about it without the risk of Ken interrupting.  

    Once we were in his room Liam closed the door and looked at me with real shyness.  

    “What is it?” I asked again.  

    Liam was looking at the floor, poking at the carpet with one toe.  “I just… it’s just that Ken was giving Benny all those cuddles.” 

    I nodded. “Yeah, Benny really likes cuddles.”  

    “Yeah, he does.  It’s just… um… I kinda want cuddles too,” he said, very quietly.  

    “You want cuddles too? Like Benny?”  

    Liam still wouldn’t look at me, but he nodded.  

    “I don’t want Ken to know. But I just… I want cuddles so bad. I know it’s the programme and it’s… it’s actually working on me. And that’s kinda scary.”  

    “I know, you asked me to tell you if you were acting funny and didn’t know it. But… you know this is not normal. You never go around barefoot, and you don’t ask for cuddles.”  

    He nodded vigorously. “Oh yeah, I know it isn’t normal for me at all. It just, it felt so good today. And now I really just feel like I need to cuddle.”  

    “So you want to stop the programme?” I asked.  “Should I talk to Ken?”  

    Liam bit his lip. “No… I was mostly worried about losing my smarts, or losing who I am. But, I was fine at school today. I was barefoot, but I still did all my work, no problems.  I haven’t lost who I am, I know this is weird. But… it just feels so good Eric. I’m so horny, y’know.  And I don’t want to stop it yet, as long as it doesn’t mess with my intelligence.”  

    “Yeah, I can understand that,” I agreed.  

    I didn’t understand that. Anyone thinking rationally would take one look at Benny sucking his filthy toes, naked on the floor, and immediately abandon any programme that promised to have you joining him in that level of helpless idiocy.  But seeing this happen to Liam was making me feel more aroused by the minute and I didn’t want it to stop.    

    “But the moment you see me getting dumber, you tell me, okay. If I don’t notice it or something. Or if I start thinking this is all normal. You promise?” Liam pleaded.  

    “Absolutely.”  

    He seemed relieved.  

    “So, I just… would you mind…” he stammered, looking at the floor again.  

    “Oh, you want to cuddle with me?” I asked, feeling touched he felt comfortable asking me for this.

    Liam nodded. “Do you mind?”  

    I opened my arms wide. “Oh buddy, I’d love to give you cuddles,” I assured him.  

    Liam smiled so broadly, quickly moving in and closing his arms around me, resting his head on my shoulder.  He was nice and warm, just like Benny.  I rubbed my hands around his back, enjoying the feeling of closeness.  I felt his chest moving in and out with his breath, let my cheek rub against his.  Then I gently cupped the back of his neck and cooed, “You’re such a cuddly little guy.”  

    Liam let out this little sound that was halfway between a mewl and a moan.  Then he twisted his head and I felt his lips on my cheek. Oh wow, he was pecking one, two, three kisses on my face.  

    “Thank you so much,” he whispered as I continued to hold him.  

    “No worries. You’re a joy to snuggle,” I told him.  

    We cuddled for a full three minutes.  But then we could hear Benny being taken out of the bath, so it was time to quietly return to the living room and act as if nothing had happened.  

    **

    It was a familiar feeling, the next morning, to be woken by weight on my bed. Someone was climbing in, waiting for me to wake up. No doubt Benny was back for more special cuddles.  

    Slowly I climbed out of the depths of sleep, blinking my eyes open and focusing on the new occupant of my bed. But it wasn’t Benny after all.  It was Liam, kneeling on my bed, wearing a powder blue onesie.  It was tented out in the middle, his jutting erection impossible to miss.  

    “Oh, hi there,” I said.  

    “Hey, sorry I woke you up,” he apologised.  

    “Is something wrong?” I asked him.  

    “No.  Well, not exactly.  I just… I woke up and I listened to my programme again last night and I feel different today.”  

    I nodded.  “You think it’s changing your intelligence?”  

    I was surprised when he shook his head. “No, it’s not that.  I… I just need cuddles again. And I feel… I’m all…” 

    “You’re really aroused, huh?”  

    He nodded vigorously.  “I just keep thinking about that first day with Benny, when he cuddled you and…” 

    “He made stickies,” I finished for him. 

    “Uh-huh.” 

    I reached out and patted his knee.  “You need to make some stickies in your onesie, don’t you Liam.”  

    He bit his lip hard, but nodded.  

    I reached out again and gently tweaked his stiffy through the soft onesie.  “I know buddy, I can see how hard you are.”  

    Liam gasped and nodded.  

    “Okay, c’mon under the covers, let’s snuggle up.”  

    Liam was under the covers with me in a flash.  Oh yes, it was just like Benny except that Liam was so soft and cuddly in his onesie.  He didn’t waste any time, grinding his erection against my hip, gripping my back tightly, thrusting frantically.  

    “My goodness, you are a happy boy,” I told him, patting his bum.  

    “Yeah, I’m so happy,” he agreed.  “The music is making me extra happy.”  

    “You know what I want you to do for me today?”  

    “What?” he asked.  

    “I want you to go barefoot again, all day. Get those footsies just as icky as they can be.”  

    Liam grunted.  

    “And when I get home you’re going to show them to me, show me the very ickiest of little boy feet.”  

    Liam gasped and I could tell this excited him beyond belief. 

    “That’s right, you’re just my little boy now Liam, just a mucky little boy.”  

    “Ugh. Ohhh. Mmmm,” he grunted, then exploded in his onesie.  

    “Good boy Liam, good boy,” I cooed as he shuddered and sent squirt after squirt of cum into his onesie.  

    I waited until he was totally spent, then just held him close, felt the damp onesie material against my skin. This was perfect, this was more than I could have hoped for.  

    There was no question now about the brilliance of Ken’s system.  He was making Liam aroused by his own regression.  Liam couldn’t bring himself to stop listening to the tapes even as his behaviour was altered more and more.  

    It was frightening and arousing at the same time.  I felt guilty getting off on my friend’s increasingly embarrassing behaviour, but for some reason it had me aroused too.  I’d never even considered such fetishes before. But the more I looked at Liam cuddled up in his cum-stained fuzzy onesie, the more I wanted to keep him this way too.  

    To be continued...

    Volunteers

    Chapter 1

    “So you’re really gonna do it?” I asked Liam as we stood in the living room of our flat, waiting to be told when we could come back to the kitchen.  

    Liam shrugged.  “If I was actually worried about it working, I wouldn’t be doing it.  You know how these kinds of experiments go, 90% of the time they fail.”  

    “So why volunteer at all?” 

    “Ken needs to finish the experiment.  It doesn’t really matter whether he proves his hypothesis or not, only that he tests it.”  

    I was impressed that Liam was so willing to take such a big risk for our flatmate.  Well, Ken was more than just a flatmate now.  We hung out pretty regularly too.  We were all studying at the same uni. Liam and I were both doing doctorates in chemistry, Ken was doing a Master’s in psychology and Ben was the baby of the flat, still an undergrad doing an Arts degree.  He got a lot of shit for being an Arts student and for being only twenty years old.  But he took it well.  

    “Well you’re braver than me,” I told him.  There’s no way I would have volunteered to let Ken mess with my brain.  I mean, intelligence is basically my most important asset.  

    Liam didn’t seem concerned, but I really wasn’t sure how he had that kind of confidence. He was probably the smartest guy in the flat.  He had a lot to lose if this went wrong.  Ben had volunteered too, but that was less shocking since he was still young and easy to peer pressure into shit like this. 

    Ken’s experiment was to test two different kinds of hypnotic programming.  To test those systems he was going to try to alter both Ben and Liam’s behaviours, their mental abilities, their personalities to the same end goal, but using two different methods.  The goal was to have them thinking and behaving like two wild, rambunctious toddler boys with the intellectual abilities of a three year old.  

    Before the experiment they had each finished a questionnaire about their current habits as well as their actual childhood behaviour. Were they wild little kids or well behaved?  Were they precocious or late bloomers?  

    Of course Liam had been a well-behaved and gifted child.  

    There had also been personality tests and IQ tests to establish their baseline.  It seemed that Ben and Liam were both introverts, though they were mostly open to new experiences and emotionally stable.  It was no surprise that Liam had the higher IQ at 142, while Ben was a 120, still very smart, but not genius.  

    With the tests done Ken had started the experiment by choosing Ben for method number one, a rapid hypnotic induction and intense session of programming designed to completely transform him just hours.  Liam on the other hand would get subliminal messaging combined with a low dose of a medication designed to make him more receptive to suggestions each night as he slept.  The programme called for his transformation to take five days to be as complete as Ben’s.  

    It had been over an hour since Ben and Ken had gone into Ken’s room and I was wondering how it was going.  How was Liam so calm about this, I just kept thinking.  

    The wait ended as Ken finally reappeared in the living room, a clear smile on his face. 

    “It’s all done guys.  C’mon into the kitchen to meet Benny,” he announced.  

    For the first time I saw a flash of surprise and concern on Liam’s face.  Could it really have worked?  I felt my own heart do a little flutter.  

    We followed Ken back to the kitchen and I literally gasped when I saw Benny.  

    Our flatmate was sitting on the floor of the kitchen with his legs splayed wide apart.  There was an upside down pot on the floor between his legs and he was using it as a drum, smacking it with his open palms.  He had a bright red mixing bowl on his head, like some sort of hat.  But that was his only item of clothing. Benny was completely nude.  

    Sure, we lived together, but that didn’t mean we went around the flat naked.  I’d never seen Ben in less than a pair of shorts.  And now, there he was in all his glory.  And what’s more, his penis was standing straight up, just as hard and erect as it could be.  

    Benny gaped up at us, pausing his drumming, his bare toes wiggling back and forth as he took in the new arrivals.  His face just looked so slack. His eyes were wide and empty.  He honestly looked retarded, like an actually severely intellectually impaired man. Why was he so aroused right now? What had prompted that pulsing erection?  

    “What you doing there Benny?” Ken asked him brightly, using the tone adults spoke to small children in.  

    It should have been deeply condescending.  But Benny grinned and yelled, “Benny dwum!” 

    “Oh my!” Ken replied.  “Are you a musician?”  

    Benny nodded eagerly, so energetically the mixing bowl spilled off his head and clattered loudly across the floor.  

    “Oopthie!” Benny chirped, drumming his heels on the floor and grinning all the more at the sounds he’d made.   

    It was obvious that he was enjoying this. The stiffy was no coincidence.  That gaping grin said it all. Having his intelligence, his maturity and vocabulary stripped away was intensely pleasurable.  Either he had no idea what he’d lost, or he simply couldn’t comprehend that loss anymore.  Whichever it was, he clearly didn’t miss being a smart uni student.  He looked like the very happiest toddler.  

    “Go on then Benny, show us how you can drum,” Ken urged him.  

    “Makin’ moothic!” Benny agreed, smacking wildly at the pot to create a cacophony of sound.  

    “Where are his clothes?” Liam asked, not sounding so calm or dismissive anymore. 

    “He wanted them all off, pretty much as soon as we were done.  It’s part of the programming, stripping away every last vestige of modesty, of bodily awareness. It’s no surprise the result is Benny’s a little nudist now.  Lots of toddlers are like that,” Ken explained.  

    “How come he’s… um, y’know… hard?” I asked, feeling so ashamed to even ask it.  

    “All his inhibitions are gone.  It’s got to feel amazing, to be so freed from constraints. He got aroused pretty much as soon as I took away his smarts.  I suggested to him that it would feel euphoric, losing all his big boy smarts, and sure enough he got bigger and bigger down there as I counted them away.”  

    I kept expecting that at any moment Ben would snap out of it. It really kept me on edge because I kept thinking how horrified he’d be when he realised how he’d been behaving and how he was still all naked in front of us.  

    But Benny wasn’t snapping out of it, not at all.  After finishing his drum solo, he let Ken feed him dinner, cutting up his food into small bits and eating with his fingers.  He made an utter mess of his face and didn’t complain at all when Ken cleaned that with a washcloth.  

    After he was fed he was happy to go to the living room and play on the floor at our feet while we watched TV.  I mean it was Brooklyn-99, one of his favourite shows and he didn’t even glance at the TV.  He was just absorbed, playing with these simple toy cars Ken had left on the floor. He just rolled around on the carpet, lying on his back with his stiff penis standing straight up in front of us all.    

    After watching him play for a bit, Ken got down on the floor next to him, putting his hand on Benny’s back and asking, “What you playing with there buddy?”  

    Benny held up the toy race car.  “Caw,” he said.  

    “That’s right.  And what colour is that car?” Ken followed up.  

    Benny looked more closely at the obviously neon green toy.  I could see that he was really trying to remember the name of the colour. It wasn’t instant for him, he had to really think about it.  But after a moment he still hadn’t given an answer. Instead he looked back at Ken, with slack incomprehension on his face.  

    “Is it red?” Ken now asked him.  

    Benny smiled and nodded right away. “Wed!” he agreed.  

    Ken couldn’t help but laugh at how simple Benny had become, how easy he was to fool now.  

    “No, that’s not red, silly boy!” he corrected.  

    Benny pouted and looked back at his toy.  “No wed,” he repeated.  

    “Nope. But maybe it’s blue?” 

    Benny should have suspected a trick. But he instantly accepted whatever the smart grown-up said now. So he quickly nodded and declared, “Boo!” 

    Ken chuckled and rubbed Benny’s hair, mussing it all up even more.  He knew Benny wouldn’t mind. All the careful styling, all the gel he usually used in it, was absent now.  

    “Sorry Benny, but that’s green.  The car is green, okay?”  

    “Geen,” Benny agreed once again.  

    “That’s right buddy!  C’mere, give us a cuddle,” Ken praised him, opening his arms.  

    Smiling once again, oblivious to how dumb he looked, to how Ken had been mocking him all this time, Benny instantly accepted the offer of a cuddle.  He threw his arms around Ken and snuggled in tight.  Then turned his head and, totally unprompted, delivered a couple big wet smooches to Ken’s cheek.  

    “Aww, you are such a good cuddler,” Ken proclaimed.  “Why don’t you go give Liam and Eric cuddles too.  Can you do that for me?”  

    Benny nodded against Ken’s shoulder, then pulled back and began to crawl right over to Liam.  Poor Liam didn’t look pleased about this at all, but he didn’t pull away or anything. He didn’t want to hurt Benny’s feelings after all. It wasn’t his fault he’d been rendered so simple and innocent he didn’t understand how uncomfortable a naked cuddle would make Liam.  

    Benny climbed right up into Liam’s lap, sitting with his bare bottom on it, his feet brushing against my leg. He wrapped his arms around Liam and pulled right in tight.  I watched as Liam awkwardly let his arms fall across Benny’s bare back, patting it lightly.  

    When Benny’s face turned to Liam he pulled back a bit, but Benny was oblivious to his reluctance. He leaned forward and pecked his kisses on Liam’s cheek as well.  Two big, wet smooches.  

    “Aww, what a sweet little boy you are Benny,” Ken declared, smiling at Liam’s awkwardness and his disgusted expression.  

    “Gib Wiam kiffes,” Benny announced brightly, still snuggling with his flatmate.  

    “Yeah, um… thanks buddy,” Liam managed to say, though he very clearly didn’t mean it.  

    But then Benny sat up and turned to me.  Shit, it was my turn.  And Ken was just eating this all up, standing there with a huge grin on his face.  I wanted to tell him to cut this out, but I didn’t want to hurt Benny’s feelings either. He was so clearly a little kid right now. He was a toddler in a big body.  So I just braced myself for the humiliation.  

    The worst part of it was I actually liked Benny. Getting a naked cuddle from him could have been awesome in a different context.  But having it happen like this, with the other two watching, was so awkward.  

    Benny climbed onto my lap, his legs astride mine. I felt his full weight settle on my legs and it wasn’t as uncomfortable as I had feared.  Thank goodness he was skinny.  His penis was so close now, so red and engorged and pointing right up at me.  So weird to see it like that.  

    As he opened his arms wide I looked right into his eyes. They were utterly innocent, you could just see the lack of awareness in them.  He wasn’t acting, he was a simple little boy who truly wanted to give his buddies cuddles to make them feel nice.  And I wanted him to feel nice too.  He deserved more than a halting, awkward hug like he got from Liam.  

    I opened my arms and pulled him in, snuggling him close. Feeling his warm bare skin was so strange, but also nice.  I ran my hands across his back, soothing him.  I felt his head move, felt his wet lips against my cheek as he delivered a kiss, and then another.  

    But I didn’t pull away. Instead I cooed to him, “You’re such a good boy Benny. Thank you so much for the cuddles.”  

    And then I delivered two kisses of my own to his cheek.  

    Benny cooed pleasantly and squirmed a bit.  

    “That’s right, you’re my best little buddy,” I told him.  

    Benny mewled and squirmed more.  And then his squirming became something else. He was humping, pushing that stiff penis up and down against my stomach.  

    “Awll tingwy,” he announced.  

    “Oh my God,” Liam muttered, eyes wide with shock and horror at what Benny was doing.  

    Ken looked delighted by it.  He knelt next to us, putting his hand on Benny’s shoulder and asking, “Are you making your pee-pee feel all tingly and good?”  

    “Uh-huh. Pee-pee happy,” Benny answered.  

    His face was just inches from mine now, his eyes wide, mouth agape, a line of drool working its way down his chin as he gripped my shoulders and humped faster against me.  I looked down, watching the just visible head of his penis punching up and down against the fabric of my shirt.  Should I stop this? If I did, would it hurt Benny’s feelings? And did I want to stop it?  

    Ken didn’t seem to want to intervene.  

    “It was inevitable it would happen eventually,” he told Liam, seeming to ignore me.  “He’s got a toddler’s mind and lack of inhibitions and a grown-up sex drive.  I just thought he’d probably jack off in front of us. I didn’t know this would happen. I think he’s probably had a crush on Eric for a while now. And now he’s free to act on it.”  

    He had a crush on me? Was that really possible? Wow, thinking back there were signs there.  And now he was getting to fulfil his fantasy of being with me, no hesitations, no concern that others were watching. In some ways that kind of freedom was enviable.  

    I reached downward, letting my hand drift to his bare bottom, cupping it, rubbing, encouraging him.  “That’s right Benny, make your pee-pee feel good sweetie,” I whispered to him.  

    He rubbed harder now, and faster. I felt his breath against my face, so warm, so close.  I leant forward, pecked another kiss on his cheek.  He grunted, a line of drool hanging from his chin, connecting to my chest.  

    Moments later he grunted more loudly, his eyes rolled back and his body jerked and spasmed.  A jet of white gooey cum was launched across my chest, mingling with the spittle already staining my shirt.  More followed as he let out squirt after squirt of cum, moaning with release.  

    Liam looked away, Ken was watching it with glee.  I kept rubbing his back, urging him on, urging him to enjoy it.  He’d given up his mind, been reduced to being our silly little plaything, he at least deserved some pleasure in exchange.  

    “That’s it Benny, get it all out. Good boy, such a good boy,” I cooed to him.  

    When it was over and the last goo was drooling down his softening shaft, Benny looked down at the mess he had made all over my shirt.  He gaped at it, clearly uncomprehending of what had just happened.  

    “Uh-oh!” he finally declared. “Made a meth.”  

    “That’s okay buddy, I can clean it up,” I assured him.  

    But Benny wanted to help, he wanted to clean the mess he had made. He patted his palms against my chest, smearing his release around, making it even worse as he tried to help.  

    “No, no Benny, that’s okay, I can do it,” I told him.  

    “Oopthie,” Benny said, taking his hands back, looking at the goo now coating them.  Then he slipped two fingers into his mouth, tasted his own release.  

    “Ugh!” Liam spat, looking away again.  

    “Is it yummy?” Ken asked him brightly.  

    Benny’s fingers left his mouth with a pop.  

    “Icky,” he pronounced, shaking his head.  

    Ken laughed and then said, “Okay let’s clean those icky fingers then.”  

    With a nod, Benny climbed back off my lap, letting Ken take him to the kitchen to wash his hands and presumably also his very sticky bare tummy.  I went to change shirts as well and to have a little alone time to process what just happened.

    To be continued...

    You Might Just Get It: Chapter 6

    Melissa Jane walked into the daycare just after noon.  Karen had rung her to ask for a little help covering her to get lunch.  It cut into her day a bit, but she was actually happy to do it.  She wanted to check up on Thomas.  Maybe he would want to strike up a new deal, bargain his way out of the spell.  But she wondered if he’d be willing to pay the price for such salvation. 

    Thomas was the first man to actually ask her for this treatment, but he wasn’t the first she had cast this particular spell over.  The last few times they all came begging to her to save their minds. And then she dangled the impotence spell as the only cure.  With the warning that it would last for a whole year.  Haha, the poor men had to choose between their minds and their sex drive.  

    It actually proved to be a tough choice for them.  Four times she had done it. Two had chosen impotence, spent the rest of their week as men stuck being treated as kids, then back to normal with a healthy respect for magic.  The other two refused her offer.  Neither had made it to the end of the week with their minds intact.  

    Karen greeted her at the door as usual, already with her bag in hand, thanking her effusively as she rushed off. The woman clearly didn’t like her job, but had no other way to make a living.  Good thing for her Melissa Jane was so willing to pitch in regularly.  

    The kids were even happier to see her, especially all her special kids.  They remembered her, not as an evil witch who stole their minds, but as the nice lady who helped them be so silly and happy all the time.  

    Danny, Mikey and Susie all came straight up to her, needing their cuddles, demanding her attention, prattling on about their dull toddler lives.  

    But Melissa Jane wasn’t really listening to them.  She was looking over the playroom. Where was Thomas?  

    He appeared through the door a moment later, coming back in from the outside play area.  The first thing she noticed was his nudity.  Tommy was completely naked, his penis brushing between his thighs as he walked wide-legged into the play room.  

    The expression on his face was slack, his features peaceful and relaxed.  But when he saw her an eagerness instantly appeared in his dull, glassy eyes.  He smiled innocently and made a bee-line for Melissa Jane.  

    “Oof!” she exclaimed, as he threw his arms around her, cuddling in tight.  

    “My goodness. I thought you’d want to see me today. But to be honest, I wasn’t expecting this,” she told him, closing her arms around his body and rubbing his bare back gently.  

    “I hadda big squirt,” Tommy told her.  

    “Yes, I can see that honey.”  

    “Danny gib me squirts. I got widdle, got siwwy.”  

    “You certainly did.  I bet that felt really, really good, didn’t it Tommy?”  

    “Uh-huh!” he agreed instantly.

    “It’s much more fun being little isn’t it?”  

    Tommy nodded.  

    “And look at you in your birthday suit,” she said with a chuckle. “I knew you’d be a little show off. Mr. Modesty is long, long gone, ain’t he?”  

    “I nakey now,” agreed with a smile.  

    “You like being nakey, hmm?”  

    “Yeth.”  

    “See, I told you how nice it would be once you had your squirts.”  

    He nodded his head against her shoulder.  

    “Okay, you go play honey. That’s your only job now.”  

    Tommy giggled and let go of Melissa Jane, then trotted back out to the yard, where she watched him climbing up the swing-set, jumping off it, rolling in the grass and making an utter mess of himself.  

    **

    I’m making pictures on the sidewalk today.  Momma gave me these chunky chalks.  They’re in many colours. I like the colors too, but sometimes I’m confused about their names.  I’m pretty sure the one I have right now is red.  I used to know the names when I was big.  But that feels like a long, long time ago.  

    Back and forth on the pavement, I scribble the red chalk, filling in the flower I’ve drawn.  I wonder if Momma will recognise what I’ve drawn.  Maybe when I get big again, I’ll be an artist.  

    I pause.  

    What’s an artist? The word is there, in my head, but I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know what it is.  I try really hard to remember, but there’s nothing there.  

    I go back to scribbling.  It doesn’t bother me, not knowing the word in my head. I just let it go, let it float away.  I don’t need words I don’t know anymore.  That happens now and then. I’ll have a thought out of nowhere, about something I just don’t really understand anymore. I guess they’re big person things, stuff I mostly forgot.  I don’t need them now.  So it’s okay to let them go.  

    The sidewalk is warm.  I can feel the sun-warmed pavement under the soles of my bare feet.  It’s kind of gritty too.  But it’s not so hot it hurts.  It would probably hurt soft girl feet. Grown-ups would find it too hot too. Grown-ups got soft feet cuz they wear shoes.  It makes me feel good, thinking about how I have bare feet. They’re thick and tough. I can feel the pavement, the grass, the dirt and it’s all so pleasant.

    I stop scribbling. My flower is all filled in.  The inside is red, I think. The rest of it is… blue? Or yellow?  I get mixed up between those two.  I’m four. I should know my colors. But I’m slow, I’m special.  Momma says so. It’s not a bad thing, I don’t think.  Momma says it just means I’m extra loveable.  

    I don’t think I was slow when I was big.  I was fast. I was smart and I was big.  But now I’m four. I’m all little again. And the big and smart things went away.  

    I look up at the sky.  It’s a pretty color. Like the one my flower is made of.  Yellow?  The clouds are fluffy.  Jake sat with me once and he taught me that clouds can look like stuff. We spent a long time looking at the clouds, saying what we thought they looked like.  I do that again now. 

    One cloud looks like a truck.  Yes, it’s like the truck that picks up the trash.  I love that truck! It makes lots of noise and it’s all big.  When it came earlier this week, Momma let me run out to the sidewalk and say hello to the garbage men.  That’s what I want to do when I’m bigger. I’ll ride in the big truck and beep the loud horn and collect all the garbage!  

    I’m leaning back, looking at the clouds, so I sit on my bottom.  The sidewalk feels rougher and hotter on my bum than it does on my feet.  I’ve got a bare bum.  Momma tells me to wear my undies for playing out front.  But I like nakey so much better.  I was naughty. I went out front with no undies today.  

    Sitting on my bum, I look down at my legs, then my feet.  Curious, I lean forward, looking at my feet closer, grabbing one.  The sole of my foot is so dark, all dirty.  It makes me feel all tingly inside.  I like having icky feet.  It’s important to have little boy feet. That’s what Melissa Jane told me.  She’s so smart, so nice. She knows everything.  

    I’m examining my feet, watching my toes wiggle, all nice and free, when a man walks up the sidewalk to me.  He’s a big grown-up man and he’s wearing a special uniform and he has a big bag.  I know what this is. He’s the mailman.  He goes from house to house bringing everyone their letters.  I know that from Sesame Street.  Elmo sang a song with the mailman on Sesame Street.  I wonder if our mailman knows Elmo too.  And does he sing songs?  

    The mailman looks down at me and smiles.  

    “Well hello there buddy. What you doing out here in your birthday suit?” 

    I don’t know what a birthday suit is.  But I want to show the mailman my drawings. Maybe he’ll be impressed. Maybe he’ll want to sing a song with me.  

    “I dwawed a fwowah!” I tell him eagerly, bashing my chalk against the sidewalk.  

    He looks at my drawing and chuckles.  “Oh yes, I suppose I can see that,” he agrees.  

    He’s smiling, he likes it.  What else can I show him? What else do I have to show off?  I know!  

    I hold up my foot and announce. “Goz icky feets!”  

    He smiled and nods again.  “Haha, you certainly do.  Those feeties are just filthy. Guess that’s what you’d expect of a little jaybird like you,” he told me.  

    Jaybird.  Oh, he meant that I was all nakey.  Am I in trouble? Will he tell Momma I gone nakey out front?  

    The mailman is still smiling. He leans down and ruffled his hand through my hair.  

    “Okay, y’all get back to your artwork now. I got mail to deliver to your Momma,” he tells me.  

    I’m not in trouble.  He’s a nice man.  Maybe I’ll be a mailman when I’m big. I can deliver the mail first, then I’ll get the big truck and come back to take away the trash.  

    “Tommy! You gotta put undies on!”  

    Oopsie. It’s Danny.  Did Momma send him out to play? Or did he just come to find me?  I hope he don’t tell Momma I was naughty.  He’s wearing undies because he’s a good boy for Momma. Danny’s almost always good.  He listens to Momma.  I wanna be good too. But I don’t listen so good. And I don’t wanna follow all the rules because sometimes it’s more fun to be naughty.  

    “C’mon Tommy, let’s go inside,” Danny urges me, reaching down and taking my hand.  

    “Dun wan’ undies!” I tell him.  “You be nakey!” I urge instead.  

    Danny knows how nice it feels being nakey.  It’s the best feeling in the world. My doodle is all free and bouncy and it just feels so perfect when it swishes between my legs as I walk and run around.  It just feels so free.  Danny goes nakey too, whenever we’re inside or in the yard. He knows it’s better.  

    But Danny shakes his head. “Not out front. Daz da rules Tommy! Momma said so!”  

    I pout cuz I know he’s right, but I don’t wanna.  

    “Pwease! I don’t wanna!” I tell him.  

    He’s the little brother. He’s only three. I’m four and that’s bigger. I should be in charge.  But I’m slow, I’m silly and special and Momma says that makes Danny in charge.  

    Danny doesn’t pull me inside, doesn’t make me do anything. He’s not mean and bossy like Jake can be.  He don’t hurt me or make fun of me like Jake neither.  Danny loves me.  We share a bed now. We cuddle up at night.  He’s nakey then, like me, and we cuddle up nice and tight and our doodles touch and if feels so tingly, so exciting and good.  We rub them together, faster and harder until we both do big sticky squirts.  I love Danny so much.  

    “Momma’s gonna get mad. You gonna get in twouble,” he warns me.  

    I shake my head and say, “Nuh-uh!”  

    I don’t have an argument for why. I can’t reason with Danny. He’s so much smarter than me.  

    Then I get distracted by something more important, something sudden and urgent.  I grab my pee-pee and tell Danny, “Uh-oh. Gotta tinkle!”  

    Danny nods. He’ll know what to do. Now I’m glad he’s here, able to do the thinking.  

    He points to the fence and says, “Just do ‘em here.”  

    It’s what I really wanted to do.  I just wanted permission.  I’m so relieved Danny agreed. I didn’t want to have to try to hold it in until we got all the way inside and found the potty seat.  And now I’m even happier I don’t got undies on. No need to wait.  I just turn to face the fence and let go.  

    Danny stands next to me. His hand is warm and comforting on my bare back as I pee all over the side of the fence.  Such a wonderful sensation of release.  

    As the tinkles splashed against the wooden fence, a familiar voice said, “My goodness Tommy, what are you doing out here on the sidewalk all naked?”  

    I turned to see Melissa Jane standing on the sidewalk.  In the process my tinkles splashed all over the sidewalk too, wetting my chalk art.  I wanted to give her a cuddle. She was the one who made me all silly, made me all little.  But I was still doing tinkles. I’d get her all icky if I cuddled her now.  That would be very naughty.  And I hoped I wasn’t in trouble for being nakey.  

    “I was makin’ dem,” I told her, pointing to my now wet, smudged drawings.  

    “You always make art without any clothes on?” she asked.  

    I could see the smile on her face now. She wasn’t upset. I wasn’t in trouble. She was just being silly.  So I nodded. .  

    “I told him Momma don’t like us naked outside,” Danny announced.  

    “Your Momma doesn’t want you boys giving the whole neighborhood a show.  But don’t worry, nobody here’s gonna mind your brother running around in his birthday suit. They all know he’s special, he’s extra sweet.”  

    Danny nodded. “Momma won’t be mad at Tommy?”  

    “No, I’ll make sure of it,” Melissa Jane assured.  “Now you go on into the yard. I need to talk to Tommy for a moment. I’ll bring him in shortly.”  

    “Kay!” Danny chirped, racing back into the yard, leaving me on the sidewalk with Melissa Jane.  

    “I tinkled on da fence,” I told her.  

    The red-headed woman chuckled. “Yes honey, I saw that.  Looks like you’ve been having a lot of fun since your special sticky.”  

    “I do stickies wid Danny.  We cuddle in bed ‘n do ‘em together,” I told her.  

    “Aww, that’s real sweet hon’.  Danny’s a good brother.”  

    I nodded. Danny was the best brother. He’s so much nicer than stupid Jake.  

    “Now the reason I’m here Tommy is that it’s been a week.  The spell can be lifted now.  I’m a witch, but I keep my word.  So if you want me to end the spell right now I will.  You can go right back to being a grown-up.”

    The week was up?  Oh, now I remembered, I only asked to be little for a week.  I don’t remember what a week is, but I guess that’s how long it’s been since I got little.  Now I can be big and smart again!  

    I think about all the stuff I’ll do when I’m big.  

    “Be big again?” I ask, amazed.  

    Melissa Jane nods. 

    “I wanna be a mailman,” I tell her. “And I gonna dwive the garbage twuck.  Danny c’n help me, but I da dwiver.”  

    I could see it now, Danny and I wearing the mailman uniform and the bright yellow truck driver vest right over it.  I’d beep the horn and Danny would wave to all the little kids.  They’d all be so impressed with our truck, with what big boys we are.  

    Melissa Jane frowned. “Oh honey, I’m sorry but Danny can’t get big with you.  His spell is already complete. He’s got to grow up the normal way.  He won’t be big for many years.”  

    Danny had to stay little? But that’s not what I wanted. Danny was the best brother. He gave me stickies.  He cuddled me and helped me all the time.  I don’t want to leave Danny.  

    “You gotta make him big too!” I insist.  

    But Melissa Jane shakes her head.  “I wish I could honey, but that isn’t how spells work.”

    “No fair,” I whined.  

    “It isn’t fair.  But I need to know if you want to get big again, or stay little for good,” Melissa Jane explained.  

    “Stay little?” 

    She nodded. “I can make the spell complete, but that will be it. No getting big. You’d stay here with Danny and Jake and Momma.  Your mind will always be slow and sweet and special.”

    I tried to remember what it was like being big.  But it felt like the fuzziest of dreams.  Only parts of it got through my foggy head and I couldn’t really understand those memories.  But my life here with Momma and brothers was crystal clear.  And I liked it, didn’t I?  I didn’t want to leave Momma and Danny.  They loved me. I loved them.  

    “Wanna stay,” I told her. “Wanna be with Danny and Momma.”  

    Melissa Jane nodded.  

    Then she reached out and touched my arm and said something so ancient, so incredible.  I didn’t really register the words, but instantly two things happened.  

    First I felt clear for the first time in days. I felt awake, present in my own head.  Suddenly all this knowledge that had been buried away deep inside my mind was accessible.  I felt like a grown man again.  

    And I was suddenly fully aware that I was standing on the sidewalk fully nude.  Jesus, my body was filthy, my toenails caked with dirt, my hands covered in coloured chalk.  I looked at the urine dripping down the side of the fence, the puddle on the sidewalk where I’d relieved myself.  I was a White trash kid if there ever was one. A dumb little toddler who’s mother let him play naked on the sidewalk in front of the house.  

    A car passed by us, the driver and passenger looking over at us, looking at the nudist boy on the street.  Good God, I felt so exposed, so ashamed.  I turned away, at least shielding my penis from the view of every passing car.  

    But even worse, my exposed member was quickly growing hard, jerking upwards as waves of arousal coursed through my body.  

    “What’s happening?” I gasped.  

    “You decided to make it permanent honey. Now all you need to do is go and empty out those big boy thoughts one more time. This time they’ll be going bye-byes for good though,” Melissa Jane told me.  

    “That’s not fair though. You said I’d have the choice. You were meant to bring my adult side back, let me choose.”  

    She shook her head. “That was never something you specified. I told you I’d let you experience it for a couple weeks and let you decide whether to make it permanent.  You clearly enjoyed yourself as a simple little boy.  You should be happy it gets to be permanent now.  No more working, no more responsibilities. You’ll be taken care of completely forever and ever.”  

    Forever and ever.  Shit, I had made a huge mistake.  I wasn’t some redneck kid. I shouldn’t have even been dreaming of being some stupid garbage truck driver. I had a degree for goodness sake!  I… I, was so, so horny. 

    I rushed back down the sidewalk into the yard, covering my penis as I went. It was so long, so sensitive. Every step sent shivers of pleasure down the shaft.  

    Danny was in the yard, playing with a Spiderman action figure.  He smiled when he saw me though, climbed to his feet.  

    “Danny, something’s wrong,” I told him.  

    “Nuh-uh,” he chirped. “You just need a sticky!” he told me, pointing to my unmissable erection.  

    I just needed a sticky. He was right of course. I needed it so badly. And after I did it, I’d be his dumb brother again.  And it had felt good, being his special brother, hadn’t it?  But to be like that for good, that wasn’t what I wanted, was it?  

    No, of course it wasn’t!  How could I even be entertaining such thoughts.  I had a life to get back to. I’d let my fantasy run away with me, let my dick do the thinking.  I’d had the chance to live out my deepest desires, but that couldn’t be the rest of my life.  And Melissa Jane had said I’d be special forever, a moron the rest of this shitty little town would actually take pity upon.  The idea of these rednecks actually looking down on me, seeing me as a poor simple little boy with a crippled mind, an overgrown toddler from the very trashiest of families, it was sickening.  

    I needed to go inside, get some damn clothes on, and leave.  Maybe, just maybe if I got out of Maynard the spell would break.  No one was going to help me here. That stupid glamor, or whatever it was the witch called it, meant they saw only the dumbest of little toddlers when they looked at me.  I would have to leave on foot, probably on bare feet since there weren’t even any shoes to fit me in the house.  

    I realised with even more disgust that running away on bare feet wouldn’t even be an issue. I could feel how thick the soles of my feet had become after two solid weeks without a pair of shoes to protect them.  I had the callused soles of a redneck boy now.  Ugh.  

    But Danny was still standing between me and the door, looking at me with those innocent eyes, wanting to help his brother, but totally oblivious to what was really happening.  

    “Let me hewp,” Danny urged, stepping closer.  

    I could feel his breath on my face, he was so close.  He was so eager to help me. Maybe he could help, maybe he could distract Momma, I mean Becky, long enough for me to get away without her raising the alarm, having the whole town out looking for me.  

    Yeah, that might work. He just needed to understand what was happening.  I could explain it so he could comprehend it, just use simple words…

    I felt Danny’s fingers brush lightly across my penis, drifting down, tickling my balls.  I grunted involuntarily, shaking my head. The motion had taken me completely by surprise. The fingers danced upward again, stroking my shaft now.  I couldn’t help but moan.  

    “C’mon Tommy, do your stickies,” Danny urged me.  “Gonna feel so good.”  

    I wanted to tell him to stop, I had to!  But I couldn’t even get the words out. It just felt too good.  His fingers were caressing my penis.  I couldn’t even pull away.  All my plans, all my fears were pushed to the back of my mind.  In that moment there was only myself and Danny and his fingers on my doodle.  

    And the pleasure just built and built so quickly!  It only took a few seconds this time.  There wasn’t a chance to regain my composure. I felt this physical need become unstoppable and then… oh! Ugh! No! Too late! Mmmmmm!  

    I feel myself explode. I feel the contractions, the spasms as rope after rope of goo squirts out of my doodle. I feel the warm liquid on my tummy. It must be wetting Danny’s tummy too.  

    And as I squirt, as I gasp and moan out loud, I feel Danny’s fingers still working my pee-pee, urging me to get it all out.  And I feel his arm on my back, patting me, comforting me.  Each squirt makes my head feel fuzzier, feel lighter.  I try to remember what was happening, what I wanted. But it’s all just slipping away. I can’t hold onto any of it.  

    It only takes seconds for everything I got back to be lost again.  

    I’m cuddling in Danny’s arms. I’m warm. I’m sticky. I feel wonderful and silly.  I want to show Momma what I’ve done too.  And soon I’m hurrying across the grass, my pee-pee bouncing free again. I don’t care that everyone can see it, can see the gooey mess I’ve made. I’m proud to show it off. I’m such a happy boy, such a silly boy.  Momma will be so happy to see that.  

    “Wook I do Momma!” I announce when I find her in the kitchen, scooping up a glob of goo from my tummy.  

    Momma just shakes her head, gets a washcloth and cleans me up.  That’s Momma’s job. She cleans up little boys’ messes.  

    **

    Five years later

    Danny has finished another day of third grade.  It was a busy day, learning to play the recorder again, doing their times tables.  Sometimes he wishes he had it easier, like his brother.  

    He heads down to Miss Lowell’s room.  She’s the special education teacher.  The special kids don’t go to normal classes. Tommy’s been in Miss Lowell’s room for five years now.  The room looks more like a daycare to Danny. But Tommy is happy there, so it’s not so bad.  

    He finds the nine year old sitting at one of their small tables, coloring.  Tommy’s scribbles are not decipherable and he makes no attempts to stay in the lines.  But he seems pleased with his creation, so that’s all that really matters.  

    “You making more art for the fridge?” Danny asks his big brother.  

    Tommy gapes up at him. The glassiness of his eyes is instantly apparent.  His facial features are just sort of relaxed looking, slack.  

    “Momma gonna wike!” he announces.  

    Danny nods and takes his brother’s hand, leading him to the cubbies to get his bag, then helping him to put it on his back.  Then they’re off, heading out through the hallway to start their ten minute walk home.  

    As they walk along the linoleum floor Danny’s sneakers squeak slightly.  Tommy’s bare feet make quieter sounds.  Tommy doesn’t wear shoes to school.  He hates wearing shoes at all and Miss Lowell’s class has different rules.  Special kids often have sensory issues around clothes and especially with socks and shoes.  The special kids are allowed to be barefoot if they want.  Tommy is every single day.  

    At least in his blue t-shirt and baggy black sweatpants Tommy is otherwise clothed.  If he had his way he’d be nude after all.  

    They walk along the sidewalk and Tommy points at the ground.  “Danny no soos,” he urges.  “Take ‘em off!”  

    Danny stops and toes off his sneakers, yanks away his socks, stuffing them into the bag.  Tommy wants Danny to do everything with him, including being barefoot together.  Danny doesn’t mind though, he has a special bond with his brother. It’s beyond normal brotherhood in an indescribable way.   

    As they make their barefooted way along the sidewalk a garbage truck lumbered past and Tommy got ecstatic, hopping up and down and pointing.  

    “Garbage twuck!” he shouted over and over.  

    “I see that Tommy,” Danny agreed.  

    “I gonna dwive dem when I big!” Tommy told him.  

    Danny just nodded, knowing it wasn’t true.  He understood now that he was older. He knew Tommy would never grow up and be a mailman or a policeman or a truck driver or any of the things he dreamed of.  Tommy would always be special and Danny would always look after him and keep him happy and safe. 

    The End 

    You Might Just Get It: Chapter 5

    It wasn’t easy holding on the rest of the evening.  

    When we got home all three of us boys were sent to the backyard to play.  I had fun chasing Danny around and Jake even joined in with us little boys, throwing balls to us, wrestling a bit less aggressively.  For a couple hours it was pretty fun and I was actually able to enjoy myself.  

    Dinner came next.  It was meatloaf and roasted veggies, eaten in the living room in front of the TV.  Momma at least put on the Simpsons, which I enjoyed.  Jake liked the show too, but it was obviously over Danny’s head. He mostly ignored the show, playing with his toy army guys instead.  

    But then it got harder because after dinner Momma announced it was bath time.  Jake went first and emerged not long after wearing just his undies, settling back on the carpet for more cartoons, flipping the channel to SpongBob.  But then Momma had called in Danny and myself at once.  It turned out we got bathed together.  

    That was tough, sitting there in that warm, sudsy water, naked and facing this other equally nude man while Momma scrubbed us clean.  I mean I was just as hard as could be.  This was such a fantasy of mine, but I had to keep myself clear-headed until tomorrow.  

    I watched Danny enjoying himself fully, pushing a toy dolphin around the water, totally engrossed in his play, smiling and giggling to himself.  How lucky he was, to not have any worries.  It made me a bit jealous. But I wondered how long he had been like this, what his life was like before all this.  What had he given up to be in this White trash family?  Would his adult self be pleased at the way he ran around the mall in bare feet and no shirt all afternoon?  

    I also wondered if he’d had the spell hit him all at once. Had he simply woken up like this, no awareness of what he’d lost? Or had he failed to hold out, stroked that penis until he squirted out all his intelligence and awareness.  It was right there in front of me now.  I tried to picture him smart and mature like me, then stroking that cock until it squirted, ending up like he was now.  

    But actually it wasn’t quite as bad for Danny, even if it had been against his will.  He was still trusted to walk on his own around the mall. He wasn’t leashed. He wasn’t expected to strip nude at daycare in front of everyone.  He was still a mature kid, a smart kid.  Maybe I wouldn’t fight it quite so hard if that was what would happen to me.  

    Could that be it, a compromise? I could ask Melissa Jane to make me like Danny. I’d let her take my awareness if I could be more like him.  But then I’d still lose my control of the situation. It was far from ideal. But it could be my back-up, my final offer.  

    After bath Danny didn’t get his undies back on. Momma never even offered them. She just towelled him dry and then gave him a gentle, playful swat to his bare bum, sending him giggling back to the living room with his penis flopping about.  

    She towelled me dry too. God it felt so good to be scrubbed and then dried off like this.  She was gentle too.  I was full mast by the end of it. So hard not to just reach down and give my soldier a tug.  When she rubbed the towel against my stiffy to dry it and I felt her fingers against my rod, Jesus, I nearly lost it. My heart must have been at 180 beats a minute as I curled my toes and forced myself to hold it in.  

    “All dry, Tommy, and you have been such a good boy today. Honey, are you feeling okay? You aren’t feeling sick are you sweetie?” she asked, looking really concerned.  

    “No Momma, I’m fine,” I told her.  

    She nodded, then put her arms around me and cuddled me in close.  Oh, she smelled really nice too.  It was so good to be cuddled like this. I snuggled her right back.  

    “I’m glad you’re trying to be so big and mature honey. But I don’t mind you being my special, silly little guy.  Momma has to holler sometimes, cuz you could get yourself hurt if you climb too high or run off or touch what you shouldn’t.  But I know you’re a busy little guy, much busier than your brothers.  And that’s okay hon. I don’t want you bein’ scared of Momma and losing all your energy.”  

    “I’m not scared of Momma,” I assured her. “I… I love you Momma,” I told her. 

    She squeezed me tighter.  “Oh baby, Momma loves you too.”  

    When she let me go she slipped the towel away and said, “Now go join your brothers. It’s bed time soon though.”  

    I nodded, grabbing my undies and shorts off the floor and slipping them back up.  

    “Oh Tommy, I don’t know if I like this new modest streak,” Momma said.  

    I thought about just taking them back off. After all, I’d just spent fifteen minutes nude in the cramped bathtub with Momma and Danny seeing everything.  But the more I knew about what people expected of dumb little Tommy, the more I wanted to show them I was different. I was little sure, but I was a good kid, a mature kid.  

    So I just shrugged and headed back to the living room in my shorts.  I did at least leave my shirt off though, I gave Momma that one.  

    I nearly lost it one more time though.  When Momma tucked us in, when she came over and cuddled me again and kissed me goodnight.  I’d always wanted that.  My blankets were tented up, I was so excited.  It was very hard to get to sleep.  But I just reminded myself I would see Melissa Jane tomorrow. She was going to come to daycare. She just had to.  

    **

    I woke up with an uncomfortable sensation of soreness in my balls.  My cock was hard of course, with good old morning wood.  It didn’t help that my little boy undies, training pants Momma had insisted I wear to bed, were so extra soft against it.  They were thicker than normal undies, holding my penis snugly, cradling it in cottony softness. 

    If Melissa Jane didn’t make some change today I realized I likely wouldn’t make it another night. Even if I could hold on all day, I’d probably do what I did when I was a young teen. I’d have a wet dream, squirt in my sleep.  Then I wouldn’t even know it had happened.  Jesus, I could go to sleep myself tonight and tomorrow morning just wake up as dumb little Tommy.  

    Even as it was my balls felt so heavy and full.  Every movement felt uncomfortable, made me feel the soreness up into my stomach.  

    The door to the room swung suddenly open and Danny came racing in.  He was naked again, his penis standing right up at attention, the head bouncing against his tummy as he hurried to the side of my bed.  

    “Is mownin’ sweepy head!” he announced.  

    “I know Danny,” I told him. “I’ll be up in a second.”  

    But he wasn’t interested in waiting.  After just a moment he said, “Lez cuddle,” and he climbed into my bed, throwing back the covers and snuggling under them, right up next to me.  

    Oh God, I was already so horny and my balls ached so much and now he was in my bed.  It’s just, above all else, what I fantasised about was sharing cuddles with a brother or a playmate.  

    His arms wrapped around me and I couldn’t help but roll on my side to face him.  He looked so happy, so totally free of modesty and awareness. He just wanted cuddles with his brother. He didn’t care that he was naked. I felt my heart-rate ticking up again as I closed my arms around him too.  His skin was sticky and warm. It was like yesterday, but even better now.  

    He was enjoying it too.  He squeezed me even tighter and announced, “I’m all tingwy. In my doodle!”  

    I gulped.  

    “You doodle tingwy?” he asked.  

    And I don’t know why, but I just automatically said, “Uh-huh.”  

    Danny giggled lightly and then I felt his stiffy rub against the front of my training pants, pushing against my own throbbing hard-on.  

    “Lez do squirts,” he said.  

    Squirts?!   

    And he pushed his crotch up and down against my own, his arms holding me tighter than ever in this perfect intimate embrace.  

    Oh my God, he wanted to masturbate. No, he already was.  And… and he wanted to share it with me.  He wanted to give me pleasure too.  He wanted us both to have stickies.  

    I’d never felt such a sensation before. I yearned to share this with him.  His love was so pure and innocent.  And I felt something down there, I felt such a surging need.  If I held back it was going to be so painful.  I just… I knew I couldn’t do that.  I needed to do this with Danny.  

    And once I did, oh God, I needed to see Melissa Jane. We would be at daycare soon, just a couple more hours. I just needed to hold out until then. If I didn’t hold out, I’d have no control at all.  I just needed to stop right now, push Danny off me, tell him I didn’t want to do squirts with him right now.  

    But how do you stop when your ultimate fantasy is coming true?  Even when the consequences are so dire.  

    “You’re real cuddwy. I wove you,” Danny told me.  

    I shivered with desire. My balls were just so full. They needed to be emptied.  

    I thrust my penis forward, forcing it to grind against Danny’s.  And I felt the contact, felt that hardness, the rubbing, the wonderful friction even through the thick training pants.  I was so close already that was all it took. Just a few quick, hard thrusts.  

    Ugh.  Ohhhhh.  I felt the most incredible sensation of release.  A torrent of stickies erupting into my cozy training pants, being absorbed by the thirsty material.  My body jerked and moaned out loud.  Danny just giggled in my ear, still busy grinding against me, trying to have his own release.  

    I wasn’t aware of that anymore. All I felt was the most euphoric experience of my life. Melissa Jane hadn’t lied about that. She was a liar, I was sure. But at least one thing she said was the truth.  It was the most intense and complete feeling of release imaginable.  With every grunt and jerk I was pushing my intelligence, my maturity, my self-awareness out onto my tummy, filling up the training pants with everything that made me who I was.  

    It was like when you get a massage.  It feels so amazing. All the tension, all the stress getting worked out of your muscles. People moan out loud, they grunt with relief.  This was like having a massage for my brain, a wonderful deep tissue massage but in my head. All the stress, all the worry and tension was being worked out of my brain.  

    But it was more than that, because I was having an orgasm at the same time.  The feelings were combined. They built on each other. It was more pleasure than I could have ever imagined.  The feeling of just letting go, just letting everything go. Total release. Total relief.

    Finally it was all out.  Danny was done too, his gooey, warm squirts all over my tummy.  And I knew that it was done.  A moment ago there had been one boy and one man in the bed. Two big bodies, but only one with a working grown-up mind.  Now there were just two little boys in grown-up bodies.  

    I smiled at Danny, still basking in the amazing afterglow.  “You gib me stickies,” I told him.  

    Danny giggled. “Uh-huh.  Now we c’n get up. Lez watch toons,” he suggested.  

    That sounded perfect. Danny was so smart. I felt in awe of him.  I just felt so little now. With all those stickies out, with all the big stuff in my undies, I just felt so light and empty in my head. I felt tiny, absolutely teeny-weeny.  Danny looked so big and in charge.  

    We climbed out of bed.  Danny’s pee-pee was all sleepy now, it wasn’t standing up anymore.  

    “Lez be jaybiwds,” he urged, pointing at my big boy pants.  

    I didn’t want to be a jaybird with Danny yesterday morning. I still remembered that, recalled pulling my undies back up after doing tinkles.  But I hadn’t a clue why I had felt that way.  It’s fun to be a jaybird. Nakey feels good!  These things are certain, they are written in stone in my mind.   

    I nod and yank my sticky undies down and kick them away.  My doodle is still all slimy and it stands straight out from my tummy, half-way hard but getting softer.  I wiggle my hips back and forth, make my doodle swing back and forth, make it waggle so Danny can see.  Danny will think that’s funny.  

    “My doodle siwwy!” I tell him.  

    I don’t mind Danny seeing my doodle of course. Why would I mind? What a strange idea.  It floats away as quickly as it came.

    Danny smiles and reaches down. He runs his fingers along the length of my doodle. Oh God, a wave of pure pleasure tingles through my body. With a little jerk my doodle expels a final squirt, the goo splattering on the carpet.  Danny giggles at that, continuing to gently tickle my pee-pee until it gets all soft and sleepy.  

    “C’mon!” Danny insists after that, taking my hand and leading me to the living room. 

    Jake is there, watching toons. He looks at me, then back to toons.  I sit on my bum. The carpet is soft. I like it under my bum-bum.  The toons are funny to look at, but I don’t know what’s going on. It’s all too fast. They use words I don’t know.  My head is too empty now.  I’m all silly cuz I had that squirt.  That’s okay, it doesn’t make me sad. I like being silly.  I’m sure that silly is very good.  

    I need to make tinkles. The feeling hits me suddenly.  For a second I don’t even know the feeling. But then I remember what it is.  And that means I need to do something. I need to do a big boy thing.  But I can’t remember what.  I need to go somewhere. So I stand up.  

    “Tommy move out of the way you dummy,” Jake yells at me.  

    I pout and move.  Mean Jake.  I didn’t mean to be in the way.  I gotta tinkle. Where do tinkles go? Babies do ‘em in their diapies.  I don’t gotta diaper. Not a baby.  Big boys do ‘em… 

    I don’t know.  I try to remember yesterday. I knew then. I was so smart. I was very big.  I look down at my pee-pee. It’s hanging there, all soft and smooth now.  I’m nakey.  Big boys don’t go nakey, so I’m not a big boy.  I’m little now. I had a lovely squirt and now I can’t be big anymore.  So I won’t do a big boy tinkle. I’m gonna do a silly boy one.  

    I smile as I let go.  The golden stream splashed on the carpet between my feet.  I feel drops splash on my toes.  How silly of me.  I’m a carpet tinkler.  

    “Oh Tommy! You need the potty!” Danny reminds me.  

    The potty. Oh yeah, that was the big boy thing. Oh well. I’m not sad, I’m not upset at all. That’s for the big boys. I’m a silly little boy.  

    Momma comes out a little later and Danny shows her the puddle I made.  The carpet is still all squishy. I poke at it with my toe. I like how it squishes. That makes me smile and giggle.  

    “Tommy, why didn’t you use your potty like yesterday?” Momma asks me.  

    “Notta big boy,” I tell her. “Imma jaybiwd,” I explain, poking at my doodle, so she can see I’m all nakey.  

    Momma shakes her head and then she cleans up the mess I made. That’s Momma’s job. I make the messes cuz I’m little, and she cleans them up.  I like being little.  It’s funner to make messes than fix them.  

    When she’s done Momma calls me over.  

    “Tommy, I know it’s tough to remember to use the potty for you.  But I really want you to try for Momma. Okay honey?”  

    Momma’s sad.  I feel bad now.  

    “Yeth Momma. I twy,” I assure her.  

    “Don’t feel sad honey, I know you’re doing your best.  You’re just a bit slower than the other boys.  That’s okay honey, Momma loves her special boy and I’ll always take care of you,” she promised, pulling me into this big, warm cuddle.  

    I love Momma so much. I’m a special boy. It’s okay to be slow. Momma always gonna be here for me.  Momma’s cuddles feel so, so good.

    To be concluded...

    You Might Just Get It: Chapter 4

    We dropped off Jake first.  He went running into a busy school yard, no kiss goodbye or anything.  Then Momma drove us to daycare.  

    As soon as we pulled up I realised that it wasn’t going to be what I had expected.  I had been getting ready for one of those commercial daycare centres with names like Happy Smiles or Here We Grow.  But when the car stopped we were in front of someone’s house.  It was one of those mostly informal daycares, some probably untrained woman who ran it out of her house.  It was bound to be overcrowded and no doubt much cheaper than real daycare.  

    No wonder she had planned to bring me here in a t-shirt and undies. That probably would have been embarrassing at a bright commercial daycare, but at this kind of place it wouldn’t draw a second glance.  

    Momma opened the door and we climbed out.  Instantly I was aware of the sidewalk pavement under my feet, a constant reminder of my toddler status.  A part of me wanted to ask Becky here if I did actually own a pair of shoes, maybe for special occasions.  But I knew that would really send off alarm bells if my asking for shorts was a shocker.  

    After she rang the bell a fat woman in her forties opened the door.  She reeked of cigarette smoke and I could only hope she was at least smoking outside and not exposing all the little kids here.  The woman wore no make-up, her face deeply wrinkled from the chain smoking.  Dressed in a pink sweater and leggings, she was barefoot herself.  Fair enough, it was her home after all. It wasn’t like she was going out for the day sans shoes the way I was.  

    “Hi Karen, here they are,” Momma greeted her.  

    Karen smiled back.  “Mornin’ Becky.  How they doin’ today?”  

    “Just fine, no sniffles or anything.  And Tommy even used the potty and then asked to wear shorts,” Momma told her. 

    Karen looked over at me, taking in my outfit.  “Huh, it’s awful funny to see him all dressed up like that.  And using the potty on his own? Guess our silly little guy is starting to get bigger.”  

    “I hewped ‘im!” Danny quickly interrupted.  

    Karen gave him a smile, reaching way up to be able to pat Danny’s head.  “You’re a good brother.”  

    The six foot tall man squirmed and grinned like an idiot, lapping up the praise.  

    “I’ll be back to get them at the normal time,” Momma said. 

    “Okay, have a good shift.”  

    Momma shrugged. “At least it’s not a double today.”  

    Then she gave each of us a quick hug and kiss on the cheek and she was off. 

    Karen led us into the house and it was just as messy and busy as I had predicted.  There was a playroom crowded with simple, cheap toys and a TV playing cartoons.  The kitchen could barely fit the five high-chairs and two tables surrounded by chairs with booster seats.  The backyard had a basic swing set with a slide, a dirty looking and tiny sand-pit and a bunch of different sized balls. 

    I counted six little kids who were already at the daycare. Four boys and two little girls.  One of the little boys wore no shirt, just his shorts.  A second was down to nothing but his undies.  All six of them were barefoot.  

    But more interesting to me were the five adult children who were playing together.  Three grown men and two women, ranging from about twenty years old to late thirties.  One of the women, a pretty twenty-something with short blonde hair, was topless too, sitting on the floor in her bright pink panties, cuddling a doll against her bare breasts.  Two of the three men lacked shorts or pants, playing around with their undies on display.  

    Karen wasn’t much interested in actually caring for us.  No sooner had we arrived than she grabbed her ciggies and a lighter and headed out the back door.  We were left to our own devices, playing in the living room with the others.  

    Danny quickly settled into what must have been a routine for him.  He dropped to the floor, yanked his shirt off and let it drop on the floor where it fell.  Then he grabbed a toy truck and began creeping around, engrossed in play.  After a moment though, he turned back to me and said, “C’mon Tommy, getta twuck so we c’n pway.”  

    There was nothing else to do. I joined him on the dirty carpet, grabbing a toy truck and crawling along with it.  

    “You gonna take your shirt off?” Danny asked me as I pulled up next to him.  

    “Naw.”  

    “Home come?” he asked. 

    “Why did you?” I replied. 

    “Is comfy.  Ain’t you itchy? You always get itchy whens you gotta wear shirts.” 

    I shook my head, then crashed my truck into the side of his, making smashing sounds for effect.  Danny forgot the conversation, quickly getting back to play.  

    We played until we were interrupted by the topless woman.  She crept up and poked me in the arm.  

    “Hi!” she chirped.  

    “Oh, um, hi there,” I answered.  

    She was very pretty, especially with those beautiful innocent eyes.  Her skin was so soft and flawless and it was so hard not to just stare at her boobs when they were right in front of me. 

    It was obvious no one else could see what I did though.  The other adult children didn’t even seem to realise they were much bigger than the other kids. The real kids didn’t seem aware that their playmates were grown-ups either.  Once again it seemed I was the only person here capable of seeing the truth.  

    “Don’cha wanna cuddle?” she asked, looking confused.  

    “Oh. Um, yeah, sure,” I mumbled, trying to recover from my shock at the question.  

    Jesus, she really meant it. Her arms opened wide and just like that we were snuggling up together.  She was so warm in my arms. I felt her bare back, ran my fingers lightly across it.  I looked down at the soles of her feet, turned up as she sat on her knees. They were brown as dirt, thickened too.  She looked like she didn’t own a pair of shoes either.  

    “Why you got clothes?” she asked me.  

    “Clothes?” 

    I felt her chin nod against my shoulder. “Not nakey,” she said.  

    She expected me to be naked? Here at the daycare?  

    “I’m notta baby,” I told her.  

    She giggled lightly.  “You being silly. Okay, bye-bye.”  

    And just like that she yanked free, twisted to her right and crawled away, boobs swinging under her body.  

    I was about to head after her but a new finger poked me in the back.  

    “You it!” a new man’s voice announced.  

    I turned to see it was the man who had been wearing just his undies. Except now those undies were on his head.  It was the second man’s penis I’d seen today, just dangling there.  And its owner seemed intent on playing tag with me. Except he wasn’t running away. He was just standing there, smiling like a moron.  

    “I’m it?” I clarified. 

    He poked me a second time, harder, so it actually made me wince and pull away.  He just giggled. “Uh-huh. You it!” he agreed.  

    The man was younger than me, only just out of his teens with a skinny, smooth body.  And it seemed like perhaps he was one of my friends here at the daycare.  

    “Well, um, shouldn’t you run?” I asked him.  

    “Yeah!” he said, as though just realising that was the game.  And then off he raced, penis swinging wildly about.  

    I gave chase, but I didn’t try too hard. He wasn’t a good runner either. He was uncoordinated, his gait too wide, too halting.  He giggled and kept looking back at me.  The game ended quite abruptly as the naked man ran straight into Karen as he turned into the kitchen.  

    Given he was full height and weight I worried it might have hurt the carer. But no, it was the man who bounced off her, landed right on his bare bum on the tiled floor.  Once again the physics seemed all off. It was like us fitting into the car seats on the way here.  And no doubt some of these full-sized adults would later fit into the high-chairs next to the kitchen table.  Whatever spell that witch had cast, it was a strong one.  

    “Whoops!” Karen said, leaning over and seeming to easily pull the man right back up to standing with just one arm.  It was like he weighed next to nothing.  

    “Oopthie!” the nude fellow agreed.  

    “Careful where you’re running Mikie,” she reminded him.  “And we don’t want these undies getting lost again. So let’s put them away somewhere safe until home time,” she went on, lifting the undies off his head and folding them up.  No chiding him for taking them off, no attempt to reclothe the nudist.  No commercial daycare would allow such a thing. But this woman didn’t seem to mind it in the slightest.  

    Then she turned to me and said, “C’mon Tommy let’s put your clothes away too, as long as we’re at it.”  

    “Huh?” I said.  

    “We know you’ll be out of those clothes before lunch time honey, and we don’t want them scattered all over.  You know the rules, jaybirds need to put their clothes in the closet so they’re safe and ready for home time.”

    “Jay-biwds!” Mikey agreed, hopping up and down and looking expectantly at me.  

    I looked back around at the other charges. No one else was naked, none of the little kids, none of the other grown-up kids.  Mikey was the lone nudist right now, though that girl was topless.  She wasn’t asking the others to take their clothes off, it wasn’t a rule for everyone. She was singling us out, Mikey and I. We were jaybirds, we were little nudists who couldn’t be trusted to keep our clothes on. 

    On one hand this was incredibly arousing.  It made me shiver from head to toe to be spoken to this way, to be expected to run around buck naked.  Only the silliest of tots would be expected to do that.  And it seemed clear that the other nudist, Mikey, was younger than me.  When I squinted my eyes I could see what the others saw, a chubby little tyke of about two years old.  

    There was a big difference between two and four.  And yet Karen was treating me the same as the much younger toddler.  So obviously that was amazing, that was very exciting.  But at the same time I didn’t want to actually be naked.  Being dressed up like a little boy was exciting enough for me.  I was still the guy who struggled to pee in a urinal, who kept his shirt on at the beach.  

    “No, I wanna keep ‘em on,” I told her. “I’m big boy now.”  

    Karen gave me a confused look and for a second I wondered, would she force me? Jesus, what if she stripped me right here in front of everyone. It made me so excited, made me so hard in my pants. But it also terrified me.  

    But she wasn’t a dominatrix. She was a middle-aged woman running a daycare.  So she shrugged and then said, “Okay then. But I don’t want to find your shorts or your shirt just lying on the carpet.  You understand Tommy? You take all your clothes off right now, or you keep them all on the whole rest of the day. Those are your choices.”  

    “Keep on,” I told her firmly.  

    And with another shrug she moved on, leaving me with Mikey, who looked confused by my insistence on clothing while he stood there stark naked.  I felt bad about that now, like I had abandoned my friend.  Was he going to be embarrassed now, being the only nudist?  

    Mikey poked my arm and grinned. “You it!” he chirped, then ran off giggling again.  

    No, he was much too little in his head to feel such shame.  

    **

    There were a number of embarrassing moments still to come.  Mostly I just felt a bit embarrassed for the other adults though, watching them behave so stupidly.  There were three little plastic potty chairs right there in the living room and all morning I watched these men and women using them, dropping their shorts and undies and sitting there making their pees and poos right in front of everyone.  

    I mean no one was really watching them though. It was just considered normal, something totally unremarkable.  One fellow even finished his business, stood up with his shorts still around his ankles, kicked them away and rushed off to find Karen, to show her his poopy bum so she could clean it.  I could only gape in horror as he leaned against the wall, legs spread wide, while she took a wet-wipe and cleaned his ass in front of the whole room.  She even praised him for being a good boy, for getting her and staying still.  

    He never even got his shorts back on after that, just left them for Karen to collect, to store them away as he went running back to play with his penis swinging free like Mikey’s.  He wasn’t nude though, he still had on his t-shirt.  

    And I couldn’t help but get hard again, watching him join Mikey, watching these two bare bottoms playing side by side.  

    A knock at the door caught my attention.  Karen went to see who it was and I wondered if we were getting another new playmate, and whether it would be a real little kid or another adult tot.  

    But it wasn’t another kid, it was a very familiar woman.  I recognised Melissa Jane instantly and her eyes very quickly caught my own, though just for a second.  

    “To what do we owe this visit?” Karen was asking her.  She didn’t seem annoyed though, but genuinely happy to see the red-head.  

    “Well I was in the area and I thought I’d come check up on some of my little ones,” Melissa Jane told her.  

    “They’ll love a visit from you darling.  And you’ve got good timing since I just realised I’m out of milk.  Could you watch ‘em while I make a quick run to the store?”  Karen asked. 

    “Of course!” she assured her.  “You know I’m always happy to watch these cuties.”  

    “You’re a life saver hon,” Karen said, heading out to get the milk.  

    Sure enough it seemed I wasn’t the only one who knew Melissa Jane here.  Mikey, the topless girl and her friend were all rushing straight over, demanding cuddles, babbling about their simple little lives to her, asking for her to watch them do some stupid trick like hopping up and down or rolling a somersault.  

    Melissa Jane kept on smiling, watching them do their tricks, praising their simple antics, but I could tell she was here for me, not them. She kept glancing at me, and sure enough she made a bee-line for me as soon as she got free of the other simpletons.  

    “Well hello there,” she greeted. “You enjoying daycare?”  

    “It’s not exactly how I pictured it,” I told her.  

    “Nothing ever lives up to expectations,” she agreed.  

    “Isn’t that the point of magic?” 

    She chuckled.  “That was exactly my point, even magic doesn’t quite meet expectations,” she pointed out. 

    “So the other grown-up kids here, you do this to all of them?”  

    “Well they aren’t all my work, but a good portion of them, yeah.”  

    “They’re not like me though.” 

    “No, they have simple little minds too. Little minds inside bigger bodies.”  

    I shook my head. “No, I mean that’s obvious.  What I mean is, they can’t see the truth can they?  They don’t think they’re bigger than the real kids.”  

    “No, they only see the glamor, same as everyone else.  They see it when they look in the mirror too.  But you’re special honey. I don’t really know why, but you can see the reality.  To be honest I thought being under the spell might change that, but it seems like you’re immune.”  

    On the one hand it was kind of nice to be special.  But it also made me a little worried. Did that make me a problem for Melissa Jane?  Maybe that’s why she had stashed me with this trashy little family, out of the way.   

    “You put me into a total redneck family,” I told her.  

    She didn’t bother denying it, just gave me this sad little smile and shrugged.  “Honey, you’re in Maynard.  I just put you where I could.”  

    “I don’t even seem to own a pair of shoes.  And Momma, I mean Becky, she works at CVS.  I mean, that’s really all you had?”  

    “Shoes aren’t really considered necessary for most kids your age around here, even the more middle class ones.  But yeah, I admit Becky’s a little bit more working class than you might have hoped for.  But I had limited choices on such short notice.”  

    I couldn’t really argue with that. But still, there were other issues she had to have control over.  

    “It’s not just that.  How come people think I’m slow.  I mean, not just a little. They think I’m a moron, a four-year old with the mental abilities of a two year old.  My little brother talks down to me. And everyone seems to expect me to be stripping off all my clothes, running around naked, barely able to use a potty, totally wild and poorly behaved.  Why did you give me an identity like that?”  

    Melissa Jane didn’t deny any of it, at least she granted me that.  But she didn’t seem concerned or repentant about it either. 

    “I thought you should have the full treatment, really know what you’re getting into.  The spell doesn’t just make you a younger version of yourself. It makes you basically the opposite, in age, in intelligence, in personality.  

    “So I guess you’re a very smart guy, pretty neat, probably were a well-behaved kid, a real teacher’s pet smarty pants, right?”  

    She had me down to the tee. I could only nod.  

    She smirked. “Yep, so the new you, the little you, is the total opposite. Little Tommy is dumb as a post, wild and rambunctious and messy as any toddler could be.  But you know what else? You’re a pretty cold, emotionally distant guy. So Tommy will be a very affectionate, cuddly, kind child.  

    “It’s not all that bad. Tommy’s a loving brother, a simple but caring child with no nastiness in him at all.”  

    I frowned. “Yeah, so how am I meant to really enjoy that?” I asked.  

    “Well that’s because you didn’t get the full spell. You have Tommy’s identity, but you don’t have his mind.  Tommy wouldn’t mind that he doesn’t own a single pair of shoes because he’d love being barefoot, getting his toes messy in squishy mud and such. Tommy wouldn’t even be aware of his family’s relative poverty.  

    “But you insisted I leave your personality, your mind totally intact, and so that’s what I did.  It’s no surprise you’re going to be feeling embarrassed, feeling bored living Tommy’s life.”  

    She was right about it getting boring as well. How much longer could I push toys around the carpet?  

    “So, what, you think I should just end it, let you reverse the spell?” I asked her.  

    She shook her head. “That’s not really how it works.  The spell lasts two weeks. What’s done is done.”  

    My stomach dropped.  So I was stuck in this white trash family for two weeks for sure. Ugh.  

    “I can’t give you back your own identity,” she explained. “But there is a simple way to make it more enjoyable for you.”  

    “What’s that?” I asked, a little more hopeful now.  

    “You can always let the spell become complete, let yourself truly become Tommy.”  

    “What?!”  

    Melissa Jane wasn’t deterred by my tone.  

    “If you have Tommy’s mind, and not just his identity, you’ll be so much happier.  I promise you that Tommy is a very happy little boy.  You’ll fit in with the others here, you’ll actually enjoy playing the silly games, you’ll feel no more shame at all.”  

    There was no way I wanted that.  She was crazy if she thought I wanted to be a total idiot, that I would choose to be a mentally challenged four year-old.  

    “I’d be a retard,” I told her. “I’d be running around this daycare buck naked, tinkling on the carpet.”  

    To my shock she actually nodded.  

    “You’re completely right about that honey.  I’m not gonna sugar-coat it for you.  But I will tell you that none of that stuff would bother you in the slightest.”  

    “Well it isn’t going to happen,” I told her.  

    She shrugged. “Fair enough. It’s up to you.  But you best be careful with that stiffy then.”

    Jesus, it was that obvious?  She could see that I was erect in these dumb board shorts.  I moved my hand to hide the bulge, blushing red.  

    She just giggled at my modesty.  “Look at you trying to hide it,” she mocked.  “If you let it happen you’d be showing it off. You’d want me to see how happy your doodle is.”  

    “It’s not funny,” I snapped at her.  

    “I know it isn’t for you darling. And that’s why I’m warning you now.  You best control your urges.  Because if you make a sticky, that will trigger the rest of the spell.”  

    My eyes went wide as saucers.  “What?! Trigger the spell? What does that mean?”  

    “It means if you blow your load, your big boy smarts will be sprayed all over your tummy and you’ll have nothing but silly toddler thoughts left in your emptied out head.”  

    The thought of turning into the little boy people saw me as was terrifying. The way they expected me to act, it would be horrifying for people to see me actually behaving that way.  I really valued being a good, well-behaved kid when I was little.  I was always very mature, very careful.  I never got along with the wild little kids, the risk-takers, the messy boys who ran around barefoot climbing trees and wrestling in the dirt. 

    “So I have to hold out the whole two weeks? No release until the spell is over, or that happens?” I asked. 

    “Bingo,” Melissa Jane confirmed.  “You squirt, your brains go night-nights.”  

    “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” I demanded.  

    “Did I forget to mention that? Well, that’s my mistake. But at least I’m telling you now. So no harm has been done.” 

    No harm?  Technically right, but could I really hold out that long, living out my fantasy, surrounded by adult toddlers all day and night?  Jesus, my brothers would be cuddling with me, my mother would be talking down to me all week and even though that was humiliating it also massively turned me on.  I was going to have the absolute worst blue balls, I was going to be in agony, or I was going to lose control at some point, blow my load, lose my awareness, my maturity, my intelligence.  

    “I… I can’t hold out that long.  It will actually hurt…” I muttered.  

    Melissa Jane rubbed my shoulder, giving me a sympathetic look.  

    “You’re right honey, it would be so uncomfortable to hold out so long.  That’s why you should just get it over with, let yourself enjoy this, let yourself have the full experience.

    “Would you like some help with it? We could go upstairs, to the bedroom. I’ll make it feel so good, so cozy.  And then you’ll feel so lovely, so much more playful and when Karen gets back with the milk you’ll be running around nakey just like Mikey, all silly and giggly.”  

    She reached towards my crotch and I yanked sharply back.  

    “No!” I snapped.  

    She didn’t force me though, just pulled her hand back with a shrug.  

    “Like I said honey, it’s all up to you.  But I think it’s silly to delay the inevitable.  A day, maybe two and I’ll come back for a visit here and you’ll be running up for a big cuddle with your bare little doodle bouncing free and a big dumb grin on your face.”  

    I shook my head defiantly.  But inside I was nowhere near as certain.  How long could I really hold out?  I didn’t want her to see me that way, not ever.  And I felt so stupid for letting myself end up in this position.  But I also feared there was no way out. 

    **

    Who still goes to the mall these days?  I mean Amazon basically killed them off.  Except this one still seemed relatively busy.  I guess it’s been awhile since I was last in a mall.  But this time was quite a different experience.  For one thing there’s the feeling of the cool floor, solid and a little bit sticky under my feet.  But the bigger difference, the even more embarrassing one, is the strap around my wrist, tethering me to Momma.  I’m on a leash, like a puppy.  

    I couldn’t really fight my leashing without making a scene.  And that would have been even more humiliating, because there’s no doubt I would have lost that fight. I would only have succeeded in looking more like a willful toddler throwing a tantrum. So instead I acquiesced, let Momma tighten the band there.  

    I’d just wanted to get into the mall. It was mid-afternoon, summertime in Kentucky.  The pavement of that parking lot had to be scorching hot.  And Momma wasn’t supplying any shoes.  It was going to be agonizing.  Except that it wasn’t.  It was hot, that’s for sure. It wasn’t what I’d call comfortable in the slightest.  But it wasn’t really painful either.  When we got inside I stopped, picked up my foot to look at the sole.  It was black like the pavement, but it was thick too, it was used to being exposed to tough, hot surfaces, callused like shoe leather.  

    It made sense. The spell had made some slight physical changes. I was smooth, I was basically hairless after all.  But this wasn’t one I’d noticed until now.  

    Nevertheless it was embarrassing to be in bare feet in the mall.  I kept expecting a guard or a mall employee to come over and tell us off, tell Momma to get some shoes for her white trash little kids.  But no one said a thing, no one gave us a second glance except to smile at the cute little boys we appeared to be.  No shirt, no shoes, no service didn’t apply to young kids apparently.  No one expected us to be civilized.  

    And Danny was even worse. Momma had simply packed his long discarded shirt into her bag when she picked us up at daycare.  Now Danny was wandering around the mall shirtless as well as barefoot.  But he wasn’t on a leash.  No, my shirtless, nose-picking little brother was trusted to walk along on his own, simply with the warning not to wander.  I apparently hadn’t earned such trust.  

    Each time Momma yanked on my leash, pulled me along with her, it reminded me that I’d asked for this.  And whilst it was undeniably arousing to be leashed in public, it was also a little scary. I tried to imagine what it would feel like to be so wild, so careless that I would actually need this leash.  What would be going through my head if I blew my load, if I let the spell reduce my mind to such a limited capacity and also strip away my maturity and self-awareness.  It was just impossible to actually picture it.  

    “Lookit Momma!” Danny suddenly announced.  “Fathe paintin’!”  

    Momma smiled let Danny grab her hand, leading us along to a face painting station where a handful of the youngest of children were waiting to have their turn in the chair.  

    “I wanna be a monkey!” Danny insisted, hopping up and down on his bare feet.  

    “Of course you do,” Momma chuckled.  

    Then she turned to me and asked, “What would you like to be Tommy? Are you a monkey too?”  

    I just shook my head. I didn’t want to be the same thing as Danny.  But I did want my face painted. Oh my God, was there anything more juvenile? It made me rock hard in my shorts.  I had to take a deep breath.  But scrunching my toes against the floor just reminded me I was barefoot in the mall. It was just so humiliating, and that made it so hot, so exciting.  I had to think about other things. Don’t blow my load, don’t end up dumb as a post. Then how could I appreciate all of this?  

    I watched Danny eagerly take the seat, looking utterly ridiculous squirming in the chair as he got a silly monkey face painted on him.  When it was done he hopped up and down, scratching his armpits and making monkey noises.  And then I took the seat.  

    The artist was a middle-aged Black woman.  She gave me an indulgent smile as I sat.  “Well hello there honey.  What’s your name sugar?”  

    “Tommy,” I told her quietly.  I could feel all the people in line watching me, looking at this grown man about to have his face painted. If only they could see the truth.  

    The artist was still asking me questions though, not content to simply paint my face.  

    “How old are you Tommy?”  

    “Four,” I answered, though it felt really weird to say it.  Just for cuteness I raised my hand and showed her four fingers.  “Imma big boy!” I added, feeling delightfully silly.  

    She nodded.  “You sure are. Why you’ll be starting school soon.”

    “Uh-huh! Big boy school!” I chirped, feeling my penis swell in my shorts again as I behaved so childishly for her.  

    “So what’s a big boy like you want to be today?” she asked. “Is you a lion? Or a monkey like brother?”  

    I shook my head. “Spidaman!” I told her, holding out my hands like I was shooting webs.  

    Another big smile from the nice artist.  “Of course darling, I should’ve known.  Okay, let’s make you a superhero!”  

    She made pretty quick work of it after that. In no time at all she was holding up a mirror to show me my face.  Oh wow, it was more juvenile that I could have even hoped. 

    “Perfect!” I announced.  

    “Lovely, y’all have a blessed day,” she said to Momma and I as I got out of the chair.  

    “Should’ve known it’d be Spiderman,” Momma commented upon seeing my face.  

    Passersby gave me smiles, gave Momma knowing looks.  I was a cute little boy with a Spiderman painted face.  I was on a leash. God it was all so hot.  But it was bittersweet, because I couldn’t let myself really enjoy it, couldn’t let myself get too excited.  I wanted to enjoy all this, but that meant being aware of it. I wanted people looking at me and thinking I was cute, not that I was a wild little brat.  I couldn’t let the spell become complete.  

    On the ride home, picking up Jake from school, I had time to think more.  If the spell became complete, how could I be sure it would even end in a couple weeks? I had a whole life to get back to, but if I lost all my awareness I wouldn’t even know that.  I’d be utterly at Melissa Jane’s mercy.  I mean, she was a witch, so I guess I already was. But at least I could have a conversation with her now, make a deal.  

    Jesus, my balls were already aching from walking around looking like a sweet little boy in the mall.  No way could I make it to the end.  I needed to make a new deal. Maybe she couldn’t end this spell early, but there could be another spell that could protect my mind.  I needed to talk to Melissa Jane tomorrow.  She’d have to come to the daycare again, she said she wanted to check in on me.  I just had to think of a way to convince her to help me keep my mind, my personality intact.  Last time she came it was a surprise and then she sprang that news on me. I had no time to prepare.  Tomorrow I had to be ready. 

    You Might Just Get It: Chapter 3

    As soon as I woke up, I knew something wasn’t right.  Something had changed.  It was the feeling of my covers.  They felt different, felt softer than usual.  And I felt them across my chest, even though I always slept in my t-shirt.  

    They weren’t my covers.  They were nothing like my covers. They were flannelette, white with trucks and tractors designs, clearly meant for a child’s bed.  And that wasn’t all.  I wasn’t in my bed.  I wasn’t in my room.  I was somewhere totally new to me.  Lying there on my back I was staring right up at the bottom of another mattress.  I was in a bunk bed.  

    I sat bolt upright in the bed, my heart already galloping off to a racing start as I tried to make sense of my surroundings.  I pushed my covers off, looking down at my mostly bare body.  My only item of clothing seemed to be these thick white undies with red piping and what I now recognised as Paw Patrol designs.  My body looked unusually smooth too. All my chest hair was gone, my arms and legs as smooth as a little boy’s. 

    I looked around the room.  It was cramped and messy.  Little kid toys littered the floor along with an assortment of discarded clothes.  There was another bed just across from me and the man sleeping in it appeared to be about my age, somewhere in his twenties, but he was also shirtless and sucking on his thumb, fast asleep.   

    As I sat there trying to get my bearings, the bunk bed squeaked and shook.  Suddenly a pair of legs appeared off the side and another young man jumped down onto the floor.  He was wearing a t-shirt and similar cartoon themed undies to me.  I guessed him to be a bit younger than myself, probably early twenties.  He was of average build, with short black hair and dark eyes. 

    Seeing that I was awake the new man announced, “Mornin’ wrestle!” and threw himself onto me without warning.  

    “Ow! Hold on!” I yelled back, but he ignored me, crushing me against my mattress and giggling as he pinned my arms back.  

    “I gotcha Tommy!” he announced. “Jake wins again!” 

    Tommy.  I had never in my life gone by that name. I’d been Thomas for as long as I could recall.  

    “Get off me Jake!” I roared.  

    He laughed and let my arms go, finally allowing me to roll out from under him.  

    “Don’t do that, it hurts,” I told him firmly.  

    The twenty-something man just stuck out his tongue and blew a raspberry at me. “You’s just a dumb baby, that’s why it hurts,” he mocked.  

    Then he hopped up out of the bed and said, “I’m gonna watch toons till Momma’s up,” and raced out of the room.  

    Still recovering from the assault, I got myself slowly up out of the bed.  The other man was up now too.  He was sitting on the floor now, wearing the same kind of undies as me, shirtless and pantsless as well and still sucking his thumb.  

    “Jake bein’ mean,” he mumbled around his thumb.  

    I nodded.  “Yeah, that wasn’t nice at all.”  

    The thumb-sucker smiled and stood up. “Danny’s nithe. Gonna cuddle,” he told me, climbing onto my bed and opening his arms wide, finally letting his wet thumb leave his mouth.  

    Oh wow, he actually wanted to cuddle with me.  Now this was more what I had in mind when I imagined having brothers.  

    Danny wrapped his arms around me and I closed mine over him.  Oh, his bare skin against mine was really nice.  He was warm and firm in my arms and it felt so good when his arms and hands brushed across my bare back.  I really liked having cuddles.  

    Finally after a solid minute snuggling with Danny I had to break it off.  

    “Hold on Danny. I need to go pee,” I told him, finally escaping the tight embrace.  

    Danny seemed delighted by that news though.  He grabbed my hand and said, “C’mon!”  

    And suddenly he was yanking me up from the bed and leading me out of the bedroom and down a short hall.  But we went right past the open door of the toilet.  I tried to pull back on his arm, but he was strong and insistent.  So suddenly we were out in the living room, where Jake was lying on his stomach on the floor, chin resting in his hands while he watched some silly little kids cartoons.  

    “Tommy gotta tinkle!” Danny announced to Jake.  

    The other boy didn’t seem interested at all, focused on his cartoons.  

    Danny led me across the room, to what I now recognised was a little blue plastic potty seat. Jesus, he didn’t expect me to just use that did he?  

    “C’mon Tommy, use da potty now,” he urged.  

    I shook my head. “No, Danny, I can use the toilet,” I told him.  

    But he shook his head firmly, still holding my hand so tightly.  “No, that’s not for little boys.  Use your potty,” he insisted. Then he grabbed the waist of my undies and said, “Need ‘em off first.”  

    I tried to pull away, but he was too strong.  Damn it, he was trying to help me, I understood he meant no harm, and that made it even harder to fight him.  So suddenly my undies were yanked down and I was standing there with my doodle out.  Jesus, it was as smooth as the rest of my body.  

    “Now you gotta sit Tommy,” my brother urged me, pointing to the potty seat.  

    Damn it, I was really going to have to do this in front of him.  At least Jake was busy with TV and no one else was here.  Just be done with it, I thought.  So I sat on the potty, feeling the smooth plastic under my bottom, tucking my penis under the lid, and waiting while Danny stood there, staring expectantly at me.  

    It was hard to do this with an audience.  But after a minute the urge outweighed by shame and I managed to pee, horrified again as the sound of my tinkles on the plastic bowl could be clearly heard.  

    Danny clapped his hands. “You doin’ it! Tommy’s tinklin’!” he announced in glee.  

    It was so embarrassing.  As I sat there feeling beyond exposed, I had to ask Danny something important.  

    “Danny, how old are you?”  

    “Twee!” he shouted, holding up the correct number of fingers.  

    “And how old am I?”  

    He giggled. “You’s four!”  

    I blinked.  He was my little brother.  And he was leading me to the potty.  What on Earth?  

    “And Jake?”  

    “He’s big,” Danny said, evidently unable to count high enough to tell me Jake’s age.  

    “Do I… do I usually use the potty?”  

    “Momma says you gettin’ better at it.  Momma says you c’n wear big boy panth like me!”  

    So that confirmed it. I was apparently slower than my three year old brother.  I wasn’t just four. I was a very slow four year old.  

    I started to stand up, grabbing my undies to pull them back up.  But Danny’s hand grabbed my arm, stopping me.  

    “Watcha’ doin’?” he asked, looking confused.  

    “I’m putting my big boy pants back on,” I told him. 

    “Don’ need ‘em now.  We ain’t goin’ nowhere,” he told me.  “Lez be jaybirds.”  

    And with that he yanked his own soft cartoon undies down, letting them fall to the floor and then kicking them away.  His penis was erect.  It was pointing right at me as he smiled innocently at his freedom.  Was it morning wood, or was he really aroused right now?  

    “See! Dis better,” he told me, pulling me back into a cuddle right there.  

    I dropped my own undies in surprise, letting them fall back around my ankles.  Suddenly I was back in this warm, sticky, skin on skin embrace.  But this time it was different, because as Danny pulled me in tighter I suddenly felt it.  Danny’s penis brushed against mine, two bare doodles caressing each other.  

    “Ohhh,” I couldn’t help but moan.  My body shuddered as pleasure rippled through my mind.  I felt Danny’s hand cupping my bottom, my bare bum.  Oh, it was so pleasant, so blissful.  

    “We’re cuddle buddies,” he whispered in my ear, so close I could feel his warm breath.  

    “Uh-huh, we sure are,” I agreed, letting my hands caress his bare back, then dropping them lower and feeling his bottom as well.  Why not? He was already feeling mine. 

    I wondered if he would start to grind against me more. He had to be feeling the same tingles of pleasure from his penis, rubbing against mine.  Would he start to hump me?  

    As quickly as he began, Danny ended the cuddle, pulling back with a silly dumb grin on his face.  

    “Lez watch toons!” he announced, hurrying over to join Jake on the floor, his undies forgotten on the carpet.  

    Jake didn’t even give his suddenly fully nude brother a glance as he settled next to him, sitting cross-legged on the carpet.  This was totally normal to him.  Part of me wanted to kick my undies away too, just be another silly nudist.  But something held me back.  I was already blushing.  I just couldn’t do it.  Adults would be waking up soon enough, and I couldn’t imagine anyone else seeing me naked.  

    I pulled the undies back up, then joined them on the floor.  

    We were watching some stupid cartoon, the kind only a small child could actually enjoy.  I hadn’t a clue what it was even called.  But both the other men, my brothers, were absolutely glued to it, mesmerized by the bright colors.  I didn’t really even try to watch it. I spent my time looking around the house, noticing the little things like the cheerios littering the carpet, the well-worn stuffed doggy on the floor next to the couch.  I looked over my brothers as well, taking in Danny’s smooth bare skin, the sticky residue of last night’s dessert which still clung to his cheek. 

    “C’mon boys, let’s get your breakfast, we gotta get goin’!”  

    The new voice took me by surprise.  She was a thirty-something woman, thin with black hair.  She was wearing a CVS Pharmacy uniform, with a name-tag which read “Becky.”  

    Danny hopped up to his feet instantly, hurrying right over to the woman.  He was about six inches taller than her and a lot heavier, but it was absolutely obvious that she was in charge here.  His erect penis was bouncing against his tummy as he hurried to her, but she didn’t even give it the slightest glance.  

    “C’mon Jake, Tommy, no dawdling,” she directed as Danny disappeared into the kitchen.  

    “Toons ‘re almost done,” Jake complained, not getting up.  

    Becky gave him a serious look.  “Jacob you get your butt up and into the kitchen this instant. Y’hear me?” she ordered.  

    Jake scowled but he got up.  I did the same, not wanting to start things off on the wrong foot.  

    “Don’t you give that look,” Becky warned him. “And no more back-talk.  You understand?”  

    “Yes Momma,” Jake answered, heading into the kitchen.  

    It turned out breakfast was Cap’n Crunch cereal.  Not exactly the healthiest start to the day to say the least.  Jake was still sulking as he sat down and poured himself a bowl.  Danny on the other hand was happily digging into his.  Momma had already poured him a bowl, filled it with just enough milk.  I saw that mine was ready for me too. She didn’t trust us to pour our own evidently.  

    “Tommy done tinkles in the potty Momma,” Danny announced between slurping spoonfuls.  

    Becky seemed legitimately impressed by this news, giving me a very happy look.  “Oh my! That’s very good Tommy, what a big boy you’re getting to be,” she praised me.  

    Oh wow, it was such condescending praise, and it made me so hard in my silly undies. Thank goodness I was already sitting. No one could see the stiffy I’d grown under the table.  But then again, would anyone even notice? No one seemed to bat an eye at Danny’s bouncing erection and it was on full display.  

    “I hewped!” Danny added.  

    Becky nodded.  “I’m sure you did.  You’re real sweet to your brother. You’re Momma’s special helper,” she told him.  

    Danny lapped up this praise, absolutely beaming as milk drooled down his chin from his messy eating.  

    “And look at you, even keeping your undies on this morning,” Momma said to me.  “Just like a big boy.”  

    Danny dropped his spoon with a clatter.  He looked wounded as he said, “I big too Momma.”

    Momma gave him a sweet smile and said, “Well of course you are honey.  But you’re still my baby too and I still can’t resist that cute little tushie of yours.  I don’t want you all growin’ up too fast.  Momma still loves her little jaybirds,” she assured him.  

    Danny basked in this praise, hopping up onto his seat, squatting to actually show off his big bare bottom.  

    Momma chuckled and actually reached over and patted his bum, then gave him a big cuddle.  

    “Okay, finish your breakfast jaybird. Momma has work to get to.”  

    We went back to eating, quite noisily in Danny’s case.  But then Momma came over to me and put her hand on my back. It was so warm.  And it felt really comforting the way she rubbed it over my bare skin.  

    “I’m so proud of you using the potty today hon,” she told me.  “You’ve earned this.”  

    I looked down at her hand to see what prize I’d earned.  It was a glittery golden sticker.  She waited for me to see it, then carefully applied it to the middle of my forehead.  

    “There we go!” she declared. “Now you can tell everyone how you earned your special star.  You can tell all your daycare buddies how you used the potty for tinkles this morning, just like a big boy.”  

    I just nodded.  If felt so nice to be praised like this, to be talked down to.  But at the same time it was embarrassing of course.  And on impulse I pushed it further.  

    “You still think my tushie is cute?” I asked her.  

    Momma chuckled at my question.  “Well of course honey.  You’re acting very big today aren’t you?”

    I blushed, nodding.  I must be acting very different to what she expects.  What did she think I was meant to be like? Was I expected to be wild? To be a little naked monkey climbing all over the furniture and making a mess?  

    She ran her hand through my hair. Oh, that was heaven.  

    “You have a very cute bum-bum and it’s okay if you want to be my jaybird again later.  Momma doesn’t want you getting too big.  You only get to be all sweet and little once.”  

    I held back a chuckle.  If only she knew.  Instead I just smiled, nodding again.  I looked up into her smiling, caring face and just basked in the glow of her maternal love. Yes, this was exactly what I’d always dreamed about. 

    After breakfast we had to get dressed.  Jake was going to school, but what about Danny and I?  I assumed we were going to preschool, or more likely a daycare.  It seemed like Becky was a single mother, so she had to do something with us while she worked.  

    Jake picked out his own clothes, pulling on a Captain America t-shirt and some athletic shorts.  Momma got clothes out for Danny first, leaving them on his bed and watching as he dressed himself.  Then she got out a t-shirt for me.  I waited for her to drop it on my bed, but instead she directed, “Arms up!”  

    I did as I was told, letting her slip the red t-shirt over my head.  I wasn’t trusted to dress myself? At four years old? 

    “You’re being such a good boy today Tommy,” Momma praised me. “Staying so still and letting Momma get you dressed.  You’re earning an extra treat for dessert tonight.”  

    “Imma good boy Momma,” I told her, feeling so awkward, but also so nice, using my little boy voice and diction.  

    Danny was dressed in his Sesame Street t-shirt and a pair of bright green board shorts now and was hopping from foot to foot. “I all dressed too Momma,” he urged her to notice.  

    “You sure are baby.  Okay, let’s get going,” she said.  

    And suddenly I realised she hadn’t got any shorts or pants out for me.  My silly cartoon print undies were still on full display!  

    “Shorts Momma?” I piped up, hoping not to sound too desperate.  

    Becky looked shocked though.  Jake and Danny even looked surprised by my question.  

    “You want shorts today?” Momma asked. 

    I nodded.  “Wike bwudders,” I told her in my best toddler voice.  

    “My goodness Tommy, what’s come over you this morning?” she asked.  

    “Gettin’ big,” I told her with a shrug.  

    I wasn’t sure if the look she gave me was one of respect or just disbelief.  But she then went back to the dresser and got another pair of board shorts out, these ones bright blue.  She held them at my feet, waited for me to step into the legs, then yanked them up and tightened them.  

    She stood back and looked me over, smiling. “Look at you, all dressed up like we was going to church,” she remarked.  

    Wow, did she only ever expect me to wear shorts to church?  

    We headed to the door. Momma stopped to put on her sneakers and Jake slipped on a pair of sandals, doing up the velcro straps.  Danny just stood there waiting.  Then Momma opened the door and out they went, Danny still in bare feet.  And it was obvious I was expected to do the same.  There were no other shoes at the front door, just Momma’s and Jake’s.  Did Danny and I even own a pair of shoes or sandals? It didn’t seem like it.  

    It was so strange to walk down the front steps that way, to know I was just leaving the house, going to be out all day long, and I didn’t have any shoes to bring with me.  I felt the cement turn to dewy grass under my soles, then the cracked rough pavement of the driveway.  

    All three of us were expected to sit in the backseat of Momma’s 90s era Toyota Corolla.   There were three booster seats wedged together back there. It seemed outrageous to suggest fitting all three grown men into the back seat, never mind into tiny booster seats.  But somehow it worked, somehow we fit perfectly.  I was put in the middle, which felt wrong since I wasn’t the youngest.  But I could see more and more that I was expected to act like the youngest. 

    You Might Just Get It: Chapter 2

    Walking through the local park was one of the most common ways to spot one of these adults being treated as children.  So I made sure to take a daily walk through it.  Sure enough this time I spotted something even more shocking.  It was a young man running around in the grass near the play area but not in it.  He was completely naked though, his bare penis just bouncing free as he raced around with his hands held high in the air, smiling ear to ear, totally oblivious to the show he was giving anyone passing by.  

    The parents seemed to be sitting on a nearby bench, checking their phones, not even watching their nudist boy.  I squinted my eyes, a trick I had learned could help see what others saw.  And sure enough for a moment I was able to see the toe-headed toddler others perceived.  The chubby, blue-eyed tyke was tanned from head to toe, his hair wild and dirty, a cheeky grin on his rosy cheeked face.  I stopped squinting my eyes and the grown man was back, penis knocking about as he dropped to his hands and knees and pulled at the grass.  

    “Oscar! Don’t eat the grass honey, that’s icky!” the mom called to him, finally looked up from her phone for a second.  

    The naked man just gaped back at her.  God, his face was just so slack, so empty of any intelligence or awareness.  After a moment he stood back up and then toddled back over to the parents.  They seemed ready to go and after a moment the mother produced a pair of cartoon printed undies, directing the man to step into them.  At least they weren’t planning to let him walk naked around the streets.  But once his penis and bottom were securely hidden by the undies, they simply let him lead the way out of the park.  Apparently the undies were the only item of clothing he’d left the house in. 

    I had to follow them.  I needed to know where the naked man lived if it was nearby.  So I followed them, catching glimpses of the man’s dirty brown soles as he walked and hopped along the sidewalk.  

    As they turned out of the park though, the messy-haired toddler-man stopped suddenly, and there she was, the red-headed woman.  Actually, now I was closer I could see her hair was more reddish-brown.  It was definitely her though.  

    “Well hello there Oscar, don’t you look comfortable today honey.” she greeted him warmly, her accent thick and comforting.  

    Oscar giggled and nibbled on his fingers.  

    “P’ay in da pawk!” he announced dumbly.  

    “I see that! You must be having a heap of fun darling.  Got dirt on those knees, dirt ‘tween your toesies, and your fingers. Yep, all signs of a happy little boy.”  

    Oscar just giggled and turned to his parents.  “Mith Missa!” he announced, pointing to her.  

    “Well hello there Melissa Jane,” the mother greeted her.  “What you doing over here at the park?”  

    “Oh, just out for a walk.  How are you doing? Hope Oscar ain’t keeping y’all too busy.”  

    “Oh no, no. He’s a busy little guy, but we love it,” she assured.  

    “Momma! Wan’ go wide!” Oscar shouted, hopping up and down.  

    “Sorry, he’s all worked up about riding his new trike.”  

    Melissa waved her hand dismissively.  “Not a worry at all.  You go enjoy your trike Oscar,” she urged him, reaching up and ruffling the man’s messy hair.  

    Oscar just shouted “Twike!” and then raced ahead again, leaving his parents to hurry after him.  

    Melissa waved goodbye to them and then continued walking, straight towards me.  We were about to pass each other.  My heart was pounding.  How many chances would I get?  But what was the risk here?  What did this woman know about this strange town? I had to know.  

    I stepped directly in her path, looking her in the eye as I asked, “What’s going on with him?”  

    The young woman with reddish-brown hair stopped in her tracks, clearly surprised to be confronted this way by a complete stranger.  For a second I worried I’d been far too confrontational in my haste and she would make a scene.  

    “I’m sorry?” she said, clearly trying to at least appear confused.  

    “The man in the cartoon underwear,” I clarified.  “Two minutes ago he was running around the park buck naked, and no one batted an eye.”  

    “I’m sorry, but I don’t know what you’re talking about…” she insisted, starting to look around, maybe planning to run off or to call for help.  

    “Oscar.  You said his name was Oscar,” I told her.  

    “Oscar’s just a little boy.  He’s barely three years old.  Little boys that age, around here, sometimes they run around naked a bit.  It’s trashy, sure, but this is Kentucky.  And from your accent I gather you’re new around here,” she said.  

    I noticed her own accent had softened considerably and her diction improved from when she was speaking to the family.  That only confirmed some of my suspicions.  

    “He wasn’t a toddler, he was a grown man, in his twenties at least.  And he isn’t the only one I’ve seen.  There are loads of grown men and women running around this town dressed and acting like little kids.  And everyone treats ‘em like that too,” I told her. 

    “Sir… I’m sorry, but I just don’t know what you’re talking about.  Perhaps you should talk to someone…” 

    “I am talking to someone.  I’m talking to exactly the person I need to.  Because you’re the common link. I’ve seen you at their houses. You just keep turning up wherever there’s one of these overgrown children.  It’s not a coincidence.  So don’t treat me like I’m crazy.”  

    Melissa frowned, glancing around once more.  “So what exactly is it that you want from me?” she finally asked, dropping the innocent routine.  

    “Well the first thing I want is the truth.  Is it some kind of science experiment? Some new technology you’re testing for the government? Or some private group?”  

    Melissa scoffed at this.  “Science can’t make everyone see a grown man as a little boy.”  

    “Not everyone,” I corrected her. 

    She nodded. “That’s true. You’re unusual, that’s for sure.”  

    “So if it isn’t a science experiments, then what?” 

    She shrugged. “Magic,” she said simply.  

    Now it was my turn to scoff.  But Melissa looked deadly serious.  

    “C’mon, you can do better than that.”  

    “After what you’ve seen, you really doubt that such things are possible?” she asked. 

    “Okay, so it’s magic. How do you know about it?”  

    Now she smiled.  I didn’t like it when she smiled though, it was almost threatening.  

    “I know all about magic, being that I’m a witch.”  

    She said it so seriously, no hint of a punch line.  And she was right, after what I’d seen, I was actually starting to believe her.  

    “So you turn grown-ups into little kids for fun? For punishment?” 

    She smirked. “You think I do it for fun? Then it’s probably not such a great idea to be confronting me about it, huh?”  

    Now it was my turn to shrug.  “I’m not too afraid.”

    She chuckled. “How brave of you.  But you probably should be, if you have any sense.”  

    Was she threatening me? God, the idea of her making me like them, a little kid, it was beyond exciting.  But at the same time I certainly didn’t want to be running around this park buck naked, my willy bouncing free for everyone to gawk at.  

    “What I’m trying to say is, do you do it to people by request? Is there a way to pay for it?”  

    Melissa looked surprised.  “You have someone in mind?” she asked.  

    I swallowed hard.  “Yeah.  Me.”  

    Melissa’s expression was unreadable.  

    “You want to be like Oscar? A silly innocent little boy?” she asked. 

    “No!” I quickly replied.  “I don’t want to be running around… like he was.  I don’t want to be a moron.  I just want… I want people to see me as a little boy, to be taken care of like one.”  

    Melissa considered this for a minute.  “Little boys need a family.  They can’t be on their own of course.  It would be the end of your life as you know it.”  

    It was asking a lot, I knew that.  Did I really want to give everything up?  

    “What if it was just a taster.  Y’know, a trial run? Is that possible?”  

    “I suppose it is. Magic, after all, means all things are possible.”  

    “How much would something like that cost?” I asked, wondering how I would afford it.  

    Melissa smirked.  “No cost to you at all.” 

    “Really?” I asked, incredulous and suspicious.  There was no such thing as a free lunch.  

    “Well no cost up front,” she clarified.  “If you don’t like it, no charge.  But if you decide to stay little, we get all your assets. Everything.”  

    “Wow, that’s steep.”  

    She shrugged. “What good would they do you anyway? You’ll have a new life.”  

    It was a good point.  

    “Yeah, I guess that makes sense.”  

    Melissa smiled again. “So, we have a deal?”  

    “Yeah, I guess we do.”  

    If it was awful I could always back out, I figured.  

    “Lovely, now, how old did you want to be exactly?”  

    That was a very important question.  

    “Four,” I told her.  “I want to be little but not a total baby.”  

    “But not in school yet.  Just preschool,” she said.  

    “Yeah, no school, no pressure, just play,” I agreed.  

    “Lovely.  I have a perfect family for you.  They already have two little boys who would make perfect playmates.”  

    The idea of having brothers was incredibly exciting for me, having been raised an only child.  I nodded right away.  

    “Lovely.  Now, when you get home tonight, I just need you to eat this, right before bed and no earlier,” she said, holding out what looked like a simple after dinner mint in a plastic wrapper.  

    “Just eat this?” I asked, taking it from her.  It didn’t look magical at all.  It looked like she grabbed the only thing in her pocket and handed it to me.  Was she messing with me?  Was she just trying to get rid of me?  I guess there was no real way to know.  

    “It’s more powerful than it appears,” she assured.  “Just eat it right before bed.  That’s the important thing.”  

    “And my mind won’t be affected, right? I want to know who I am, so I can actually appreciate it,” I insisted.  

    “I promise when you wake up in the morning you’ll still know exactly who you are.  But everyone else will see nothing more than a silly, messy little four year old boy,” she confirmed.  

    “But how long will it last for? How long is a taster?”  

    “Two weeks,” she answered.  “Long enough to see what your life would truly be like as a little boy.  But I’ll check in on you before then, don’t you worry.”  

    And with that she was off, leaving me standing there with the mint, wondering if this was real or if I’d just been made a total fool of. 

    **

    That evening I sat on the side of my bed in my t-shirt and boxers, the unwrapped mint in the palm of my hand, heart pounding in my chest.  I felt partly terrified, partly excited and partly foolish.  Would it really work?  How could it?  It seemed too good to be true.  But what did I have to lose?  

    Witches weren’t known for being trustworthy after all.  But maybe that was just a stereotype.  If she was truly a witch, surely she could have just had all my assets in a snap of her fingers, no need for the ruse.  Or maybe there were rules, like how the devil needed you to voluntarily sell your soul to him.  Or how vampires had to be invited inside.  Had I just sold my soul? Was swallowing the mint inviting the monster inside?  For a long moment I stared at it, wondering if I should do it.  I liked my life after all, I had a bright future.  But at the same time, how could I pass up the once chance to live my ultimate fantasy?  

    I popped the mint in my mouth, tasting the fresh coolness as I chewed it up and swallowed.  I waited several seconds.  Would I get drowsy, would the world spin?  No, there was nothing.  I just sat there in the quiet of my bedroom, all alone.  My heart rate slowed back down.  Nothing was changing at all.  

    Damn, I had been made a fool of after all.  I got into bed and drifted off to sleep, wondering what I would say to the Melissa the next time I ran into her in town.  A place this small it was bound to happen.  Would she laugh at me? Would she tell others about how crazy I was, asking her to make me a little kid, believing she was a witch with a magic mint!?  

    They were not pleasant thoughts, but finally I did manage to get to sleep.

    You Might Just Get It: Chapter 1

    This story is set in Sebtomato’s Berry Swirl Universe.  I’ll post new chapters regularly over the next few days.  

    “Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true.” - Aesop 

    My first week in Maynard, I hated the place.  It was the ass end of nowhere, a tiny little town in rural Kentucky with nothing to do and no one I knew to even hang out with.  The place was as redneck as it gets too.  Sure there were some bigger houses for the upper middle class families who owned the local shops or who had relocated there for some peace and quiet but actually worked in IT or something like that.  But most of the people here were working class or worse.  

    I saw a lot of mullets and torn jeans at the supermarket.  After a few days I was even starting to get used to seeing the little kids running around barefoot most places, even in the damn supermarket for that matter.  It was that kind of a place.  

    I came to Maynard from Chicago because I’m a consultant.  My job is to advise businesses on things like rebranding.  A local farming consortium had contracted me to work on their marketing for the next two months.  So here I was in Maynard.  

    Twenty-eight years old, single, not in the least bit religious.  I didn’t fit in here at all.  I grew up in the Northeast, went to Chicago for college and lived there ever since.  The South was like a foreign country to me.  God, these people were almost certainly Trumpers, a bunch of Fox News watching, racist, homophobic backwoods hicks.  

    Man if they didn’t like gays, and I’m sure they mostly didn’t, they would have had their heads explode if they knew what I was into.  But then even my parents didn’t know about that, and I’d consider them pretty liberal.  

    Things changed pretty dramatically though, about a week after I arrived in Maynard.  It started innocently enough.  I was just on a trip to the Kroger as usual, grabbing something for dinner.  It wasn’t like there was much choice for eating out around here.  I could only have so much fast food.  Last thing I needed was to look like most of the men around here, guts hanging out over the belts of their dirty jeans, barely covered by their MAGA t-shirts.  

    But as I was shopping a very unusual sight caught my eye.  A skinny looking thirty-ish woman was doing her shopping, but sitting in her cart was a fully grown man.  And I don’t mean inside the cart itself, I mean in the actual child seat.  Like, how he fit in there I just could not comprehend.  But there he was. 

    Now the thing is, I’m into the AB scene.  I’ve dreamt about sitting in a cart just like that, being pushed around by my Mommy or Daddy.  But it’s a dream for a reason.  For one thing the idea of actually doing that in public is terrifying, even in a more socially liberal place like Chicago.  But down here in Bible Belt territory, it feels suicidal.  

    The second reason it’s a fantasy though is simple physics. I’m not going to fit in one of those little child seats. 

    And yet, this man was big looking, he had a bit of belly, he was at least as tall as me, though it was hard to tell with him not being standing up.  But yeah, he wasn’t tiny, he wasn’t a dwarf.  And yet somehow, he seemed to fit perfectly comfortably in that tiny seat.  

    I froze where I was as the woman pushed the cart past me.  I was trying not to stare, but how could I not?  

    The man in the cart was older than me.  He must have been in his thirties, his head shaved, face smooth but lines around the eyes giving away his age.  He was shirtless too, sitting in the cart in just a pair of these baggy grey board shorts.  And was that a diaper poking out of the waist? My God, it sure looked like it.  I mean, I know my diapers after all.  He was barefoot too, feet dangling there, swinging back and forth idly.  

    The man looked right at me, saw me staring at him.  But there was no shame at his situation, no embarrassment at all.  He was grinning and telling the woman pushing the cart, “Wan’ nannas Momma!” in the most juvenile tone and diction.  

    It was obvious he was mentally challenged, profoundly impaired.  And for a moment I felt just awful for staring.  But then I noticed something even odder.  No one else in the aisle was staring. No one was giving this shirtless man in the child seat, with an obvious diaper poking out of his shorts, even a speck of attention.  

    Well it is a small town, I thought. Maybe everyone here just knows this retarded man.  They’re used to seeing him out like this.  He’s basically a big toddler, so why not bring him to the store shirtless and barefoot like any other redneck Maynard toddler boy?  

    I tried not to think about it more, tried to get on with my shopping.  But when I went to check out I found myself directly behind them in the line.  I could feel my penis stiffen in my pants, adjusting myself to hide the erection.  I mean I felt awkward about it, about being turned on by this intellectually impaired man, but fuck, he was out in public in a diaper, sitting in a child seat. It was my dream.  How could I not be a little horny?  

    As the woman loaded her groceries on the belt something even odder happened.  The cashier, a middle aged woman with too much make-up and big hair, leant forward and actually pinched the man’s cheek.  

    “How you doin’ sweetie?” she cooed to him.  “You bein’ a good boy for your Momma?”  

    My mouth dropped open.  Who talked to a mentally challenged man like that? 

    But the man giggled brightly and nodded like a bobble head.  “Uh-huh! Bobby good boy!” he announced at full volume.  

    “Ain’t you sweet,” she cooed.  

    “He’s sweet now. But you wait till we get home and he makes a mess of himself in no time flat,” the woman loading the groceries told the cashier.”  

    Now I was very confused.  There was no way she was old enough to actually be the man’s mother. She looked to be about the same age as him actually.  Perhaps she was a sister, caring for her damaged brother?  But why would the cashier call her Momma?  And why were they both talking about him like an actual little boy?  

    “Well that’s what boys is meant to do!” the cashier chuckled, earning a nod from the apparent mother.  

    When they finished and headed off, I said to the cashier, “So does everyone in this town know everyone?”  

    She smiled back, scanning my groceries.  “Well not everyone.  But sure, I get to know most of my regulars.  Sadie ‘n her little boy Bobby always say hello. Ain’t he the cutest little guy?”  

    Little guy? I was about to ask her what she was playing at, when I glanced out the front windows, seeing the woman, Sadie, pushing her cart across the parking lot.  And sitting in the child seat, was a little boy of about three.  The toddler was wearing the exact same shorts as the man had been, his fat little face topped by short blonde hair.  I blinked hard, and there was the man, sitting in the seat again, another blink, the little boy was back.  

    I looked away, swallowing hard.  

    “You okay hon’?” the cashier asked, looking worried.  “Look like you seen a ghost.”  

    “Oh, yeah… I’m, um… fine,” I stammered, fishing for my card and paying as quickly as possible.  

    “Have a blessed day,” she said, and I nodded awkwardly and hurried off.  

    Jesus, was I having a psychotic break? Was I under too much stress or too lonely in this new town?  I didn’t feel like that.  There were no other signs of my cracking up.  

    But then why was I seeing things? And how could I have had such a vivid hallucination without being on any drugs?  

    **

    But over the next few days the hallucinations continued.  The second time I was driving home when I saw a woman, a fully grown woman, riding on a pink and white bike with training wheels.  She was in a frilly pink dress herself, her brown hair in pigtails, Mary Jane shoes and frilly white socks on her feet.  And just behind her a woman younger looking than her was pushing a stroller which held another fully grown man.  The stroller was massive and yet looked like a normal stroller, not the kind used for disabled people.  And the man was wearing a Big Bird themed t-shirt and what looked like a completely real pull-up, no pants to cover it.  I mean, I know my pull-ups and this looked like something you bought at the store for a real toddler, but somehow it fit him perfectly.  

    Shortly after that I passed by one of Maynard’s many churches just after Sunday service.  Families were leaving, all dressed up in their finest clothes.  But two young men stood out.  They were in their twenties, well built, short black hair on each.  And they were wearing nice grey jackets over good shirts, each with a bow-tie.  But one of them was wearing shorts.  Shorts with a jacket and bow-tie.  And the other wore pants, but ones cuffed short, just above his ankles.  

    Both men were barefoot.  They were barefoot and playing some kind of game, maybe tag, chasing after each other on the sidewalk in front of the church, joined in their game by a tiny boy who was dressed similar to them with a nice shirt tucked into his shorts and bare feet.  The boy was about four or five, but he seemed to be their playmate, their equal.  

    The more I saw, the more I began to think I wasn’t hallucinating at all.  I began to think there was something going on here.  

    So I followed the church family home.  I began to follow people home whenever I saw something weird like this.  And I waited and watched.  Look I know it was creepy.  I felt like a stalker.  I felt like a peeping Tom.  But this wasn’t just about something sexually exciting to me, this was so much more.  This was much bigger than me.  And somehow it seemed I was the only one seeing these things, which meant I might be going insane. I might be having the onset of psychosis, of schizophrenia.  I needed to be sure I wasn’t imagining this.  

    As I sat in my car, watching a young woman in a bright pink one-piece swim-suit and a thirty-something man in just a pair of tighty-whitie undies splash around in a simple yellow kiddie pool, right in the front yard of their house, I finally caught a break.  A familiar woman walked up to them, chatted briefly, patted the soaking wet man’s head and then headed into the house.  I had seen this woman before, two days ago, heading into a totally different home which I knew contained a man who got taken on walks to the mall with a leash around his wrist.  And now here she was again.  This red-headed woman might just be the break I was waiting for. 

    Sure enough, what I saw after a week was a single common factor.  The woman with red hair.  She kept showing up.  She was visiting the houses and I knew she had something to do with all this.  Now I just had to decide what I wanted to do about it. 

    Final Descent

    This is a quickie set in Sebtomato’s Parkdale Universe. 

     The cabin was dark, most of the passengers trying to get some sleep.  The bluish glow of the seat-back screens of those who couldn’t sleep provided an eerie light.  They were somewhere over the Indian Ocean now, six hours into a marathon seventeen and half hour flight from Dubai to Auckland.  At least the A380 is a spacious plane, cutting down on the claustrophobia at least a little bit. Being in Premium Economy helped even more.  At least Parkdale hadn’t skimped on the expense.  

    Neither Mark nor Shaun were sleeping though.  Despite the comfortable seats which reclined much further than normal economy ones, they were both wide awake.  The man to their Mark’s left was finally asleep though.  It was about time. It finally gave them a moment to breathe.  The tall, blonde man was the reason they were here.  He needed to be escorted, handed off to the partners Downunder.  Parkdale had done the deed, but his new home was to be in a different small town, one in New Zealand.  Ngatea.  

    Just the whisper of that place could strike fear into any Parkdale agent.  They all knew the rumours, that there was a town like Parkdale but twisted, wrong.  A place where they stuck the mistakes, the broken ones, the incorrigible and rebellious.  If you ended up there, well there was no coming back.  

    Mark couldn’t help but wonder what the man beside them, Aaron, had done to deserve a one-way ticket to Parkdale’s evil twin.  He wasn’t an agent, wasn’t anyone Mark recognised from around the town.  And there was no point asking Aaron who he really was, what he’d done to piss off the powers that be.  He was still six foot-two, still appeared to be in his late twenties.  But from the moment he’d met the man back in Parkdale, it had been instantly obvious Aaron had the mind of a small child.  

    And it wasn’t just that. Aaron’s mind had been crippled. There would be no learning, no recovery from this. Mark’s superiors had made that clear. His IQ had been obliterated.  Aaron would be a special boy for the rest of his life.  And that was why he needed to go to Ngatea, where he could be properly cared for.  

    “You should try to get some sleep, while you can,” Mark whispered to Shaun.  

    Shaun looked tired, but he also looked stressed. Taking care of a twenty-something with the mind of a three year old could do that to you of course.  But Mark knew that probably wasn’t the main reason Shaun looked so stressed.  

    “I can’t,” he whispered back.  “Aren’t you nervous?” he asked.  

    Shaun had been asking Mark that since they got this assignment.  As far as he could tell there was no reason to be sending two agents.  It was very suspicious, he thought.  It was common for agents to be paranoid like that. Parkdale did that to you.  How many times could you watch unsuspecting, innocent people have their lives stolen from them and not be a little paranoid yourself?  

    “He’s a big guy, they need two of us to keep him under control. That’s why they chose us and not one of the girls. In case he has a temper tantrum,” Mark had assured him.  

    It was true that it would probably have taken the both of them to restrain Aaron.  He and Shaun both appeared to be about eighteen years old. Skinny English boys off for a working holiday in New Zealand after finishing college.  But of course that wasn’t true.  Shaun was only a few years older than he appeared.  Mark wondered if his appearance was due to Parkdale or if he was just a young looking twenty-two year old.  But Mark himself was nearly double the age he appeared.  He’d been with Parkdale for nearly a decade, and spent most of it as a teen agent.  

    There were advantages to being a teen of course. Lots of energy, no need to worry about your diet, amazing sex drive of course.  But a decade of being sixteen to eighteen really wore on you.  Mark just reminded himself it could be worse. He could be a cub agent of course. The idea of that, stuck as a primary school kid for decades, made him shiver.  

    Shaun looked up to Mark, given his age and experience.  So he had kept his nerves in check, trusted that all was well and this would be a nice little adventure to the other side of the world.  But clearly now they were on the last leg of their flights, Shaun was getting more anxious.  

    “You need to take a breath mate. You’re going to have a panic attack, start hyperventilating,” Mark told him. 

    “Hey, you’re the one who told me about that agent you knew, the one who disappeared down to this place, never came back,” Shaun argued.  

    “Damien? I told you that to scare you a bit mate. You were thinking of complaining to head office and that never ends well.  But I have no idea what happened to Damien. He might have just left Parkdale, found a new job,” Mark suggested. 

    “No one leaves Parkdale,” Shaun stated seriously. “Everyone says it.”  

    Mark shrugged. “Believe what you want.  I’ve got a job to do.  You have the instructions? We should run through them one more time before we get there anyway.” 

    Shaun nodded, looking happy for a distraction.  He fished out his phone and unlocked it.  “Right, so we meet Anne in the Arrivals hall at the airport. She’ll be wearing a yellow jumper.”  

    “That it?” 

    “I guess so.  Oh… it says to take off Aaron’s socks and shoes and leave them on the plane.”  

    Mark looked confused. “Why would we do that?” 

    “Not sure. But I think we should follow all the instructions,” Shaun urged.  

    “Whatever. I don’t think he’ll be complaining anyway.”  

    Shaun frowned.  “How many more hours we have?”  

    “Best not to think about that,” Mark told him.  “Just watch a movie... or five.” 

    Shaun nodded, putting on his noise cancelling earphones and selecting the new Johnny English movie.  

    Mark didn’t put any film on though. He just sat back and closed his eyes, letting the minutes tick by.  

    An hour later Mark was awakened by his phone buzzing in his pocket. It was the silent alarm he set when Shaun began his film.  He was worried he might drift off, given how tired he was. And he had been right.  

    Blinking the sleep away Mark checked to see Aaron was still snoozing himself. Yep, out like a light, thumb pumping in his mouth, soft teddy bear snuggled against the side of his face.  Then he turned to his right, to Shaun.  His cohort was looking at the screen, his face slack and expressionless.  A very quick glance showed that it wasn’t Johnny English playing anymore. No the screen was a swirl of colourful lights.  And Shaun just kept on staring into it.  

    Mark frowned, looking at his dazed coworker, knowing he was fully under Parkdale’s spell now, even here, even thousands of miles away.  Secretly Mark had had feelings for Shaun for a couple years now.  They’d worked together a couple dozen times and they’d grown close. But relationships between agents were a big, huge no-no, and Mark knew better than to mess with that. The consequences would have been severe. Most likely a demotion to cub agent, when there wouldn’t be the risk of sexual attraction anymore.  

    Seeing Shaun like this, in such an open, vulnerable state, was actually exciting on one level.   And what’s more, while Shaun’s face was slack and his shoulders were slumped, not all of his body was so relaxed.  His erection was obvious, tenting his athletic shorts.  Shaun was enjoying this at least, so there was that small mercy.  But Mark still felt awful about what he needed to do next. It was always strangers before now. Doing this to his friend, to a man he actually really desired, was not what he wanted. But there really was no choice, and if it had to happen, Shaun at least deserved to enjoy it.  Mark would make it as comfortable a transition as he could, and he was pretty good at that.  

    Carefully he picked up the blanket from the floor, ripping open the plastic bag it was inside.  Though it appeared to be a normal airplane blanket, the feeling of it, the incredible softness, assured Mark it was anything but ordinary.  Of course the nice texture did nothing to him. He was immune.  It would have been a major problem if he wasn’t. 

    “Hey buddy, you look chilly. Let’s get you more comfy,” Mark whispered to Shaun, offering the blanket.  

    The teen agent finally moved his eyes away from the screen, looking to Mark.  Those eyes were totally glazed over though.  He could see the distant, uncomprehending look in them. Wow, it must be quite a show.  

    “You need a blanket, don’t you?” Mark prompted him again. 

    A bit more awareness returned to Shaun’s face.  He looked down at the blanket and bit of panic crept into his expression. “No blanket,” he muttered.  

    “What?”  

    He shook his head now, blinking and getting back a bit more focus.  “Blanket’s from Parkdale. Mark, something’s wrong!”  

    “Don’t be silly Shaun. Look, I’m holding it right now and I feel perfectly fine.” 

    Shaun didn’t look fully convinced. He pointed at his screen.  “The movie, it… it…” he trailed off.  The swirl of colours was gone. It was just the credits of Johnny English. 

    “What? You didn’t like the movie?” Mark asked.  

    “I… I dunno…” Shaun stammered.  

    “Look buddy, I just thought you needed some privacy, okay?” Mark explained, nodding down at Shaun’s tented crotch.  

    He followed Mark’s gaze and then gasped.  

    “So, can I?” Mark asked, gesturing with the blanket.  

    Shaun nodded now. “Okay.”  

    Mark settled the fluffy blanket over Shaun’s body.  

    “Thanks, I… um…” Shaun stammered, his eyes going glassy once again.  He’d barely touched the blanket when it began.  After a second he patted it with his open palms, then pulled it up and rubbed the material against his cheek.  “Ohhhh,” he moaned, eyes rolling back. 

    “Feels really good, huh?” 

    Shaun murmured, “Mmmhmm.”  His eyes fluttered and he kept stroking the blanket against his face.  

    “You know what’s happening now, don’t you?” Mark asked him. 

    Shaun opened his eyes, but they stayed glazed over.  “Bad blanket. Is a trick,” he answered, all the while holding onto the blanket.  

    Mark nodded.  He pulled the armrest up, removing the only barrier between them.  Then he snaked his arm around Shaun’s shoulders, pulling his buddy closer.  “That’s right buddy. It’s a special blanket. It’s going to make you all little in your head, just like Aaron. All tiny and simple and so, so happy, forever and ever. No growing back up, no more being an agent.”  

    Shaun groaned and struggled, but he didn’t throw the blanket away, he didn’t get up or shove Mark off of him.  

    “Shhh, no point thrashing around now. You know it’s already much too late for that.  Just let it do its work, let in make your brain all soft and fuzzy so you can be like Aaron.  Then we’ll leave your shoes and socks here on the plane too, just like the instructions said.  And you can meet Anne in your bare feeties.”  

    “Don’t… don’t wanna be dumb.  Please, Mark, help me!” Shaun pleaded. “Take… take it off!”  

    It really pained Mark to hear his buddy pleading like that.  Of course he wanted to throw the blanket away, run off with Mark, try to disappear.  But he knew all too well that it was a futile effort.

    So Mark didn’t take it off. Instead he wrapped his arms around Shaun, cuddled the blanket even tighter against him.  

    “To be honest I feel a little jealous of you right now,” Mark lied to him.  “They say this kind of regression feels the best. The total release from adult thoughts, forever, the simplification of your brain. It’s supposed to be euphoric.”  

    Shaun wriggled in Mark’s arms.  “Why?” he whined.  

    “Oh Shaun, you know why.  For someone so paranoid you really were bad at covering your tracks.  Parkdale is always watching.  Remember I told you that, all the way back when you started?  I told you about Damien and yes, you’ll be meeting him very soon I think.  I told you not to break the rules.  

    “But you did. You’ve been touching boys, touching them in naughty places.”  

    Shaun shook his head. “No! Not kids! Only the grown-up ones!” 

    “Grown-up bodies but innocent little minds,” Mark corrected. 

    “They’re still grown-ups down there. They needed it,” he urged.  “But… but I won’t do it again, I promise!” 

    Mark sighed. “Yes, you will. Now you’ll be one of them Shaun, so it will be okay. This way you can play with other boys pee-pees to your heart’s content. You can share stickies with your playmates and no one will mind one bit. And you won’t have to hide it either. You won’t have to sneak around at all.  Seren told me that at the special school, in the little room, lots of the boys run around naked, just completely naked.  Think of that, all those doodles bouncing around, just begging for a tickle, for a little tug.  It’s your dream buddy.  

    “Of course you’ll probably be naked too. Maybe one of your new buddies will even return the favour, give your pee-pee a tug.  Wouldn’t that just be the best?”  

    Mark slipped his arm under the blanket, snagged the elastic waist of Shaun’s shorts and his undies and yanked them quickly down. He gasped at the sudden movement, but no one else could see a thing under the blanket.  And a second later Shaun’s erection brushed against the blanket, giving it a little bulge.  

    “Ugh, ohhhh,” Shaun moaned as the fluffy material caressed his stiffy.

    “Yeah, there we go, that’s much better, isn’t it?” Mark whispered in his ear.  

    And Shaun nodded. “So tingly,” he sighed.  

    “I’m sure it is. Much nicer to have a free doodle. Soon that might be the norm for you,” Mark suggested. 

    Shaun seemed to be considering this.  Before he could reject it or thrash some more Mark wrapped his fingers around Shaun’s erection, feeling how warm and hard it was now.  

    “Isn’t it nice, being helped yourself?” Mark cooed to him as he began to stroke gently up and down.  

    “Ohhh, yes,” Shaun agreed, no longer struggling. 

    “This is what you did for all those big little boys. You played with their pee-pees just like this, didn’t you Shaun?”  

    “Mmmhmm,” he murmured. 

    “And now it’s your turn. You must be so happy, it must be such a lovely release,” Mark suggested, continuing to stroke.   

    For the next few moments Shaun did nothing to fight back. Instead he pushed his penis harder into Mark’s grip, urging him on, gripping the blanket tight against his face.  

    Mark listened to Shaun’s breathing getting faster.  It felt so good to finally be able to hold his friend, to actually be touching him down there, giving him pleasure.  Of course he would have greatly preferred it wasn’t in these circumstances.  Shaun had been foolish, yes, but this was a very severe punishment.  But what could he do? If he warned Shaun, if he let him get away, then he would have had to run as well. And he was so close to finishing his contract, so close to leaving Parkdale with a sizeable sum of money and the youth to enjoy it.  

    And it was clear what would happen if he got caught. It would be permanent.  There could be no other way. They’d wipe away his IQ, turn his brain to mush and he’d never recover.  He’d be left to play with other simpletons for the rest of his life.  He couldn’t risk that. 

    Shaun’s body began to tense, he was ready to shoot his load.  

    “No, no, I don’t wanna!” Shaun called out, trying to resist in the last moment, as he realised what was about to happen.  

    Mark knew it was too late though, so there was no point stopping.  Instead he gave his friend a couple really strong, really fast strokes, pushing him over the edge even as he tried to pull away.  

    He felt Shaun’s body fully tense, his back arching and pushing into Mark.  Then came the warm goo. He could feel it running over his fingers as Shaun sent jet after jet shooting into the blanket.  

    “That’s it Shaun, that’s a good boy,” Mark urged him.  “Get it all out for me.”  

    Shaun grunted and spasmed for a full thirty seconds.  Then his body relaxed and practically melted into Mark’s arms.  He closed them back around Shaun, over the blanket now.  It was over, and Mark felt awful.  The Shaun he’d known for all these years was gone.  He’d actually felt Shaun expel everything that had made him who he was.  There was no going back now, it was all over. 

    Mark pecked a kiss on the back of Shaun’s head, listening to his breathing slowing down.  “I hope that felt really, really good buddy.”  

    Shaun lifted up his hand, looking at how his fingers were now covered in cum.  Then he looked over at Mark and said, “All methy.”  

    Mark giggled. “Yeah, you made a big mess. You squirted all your big boy thoughts out didn’t you buddy? Okay, better clean you up a bit.”  

    He grabbed some wet naps from the bag, then looked back to see Shaun had slipped the gooey, sticky fingers into his mouth.  

    “Eww, Shaun, that’s icky!” he declared.  

    Shaun blinked his wide, glazed over eyes and just kept suckling on his dirty fingers until Mark pulled them out and began to scrub them clean with the wipes.  As he did so he looked more closely at his friend. Shaun’s face was still slack, but in a different way to when he was watching the programme earlier.  Now he just looked totally empty-headed, like nothing was going on behind those eyes.  

    “How you feeling now Shaun?” he asked him.  

    Shaun looked at his newly cleaned fingers in wonder.  “Awll cwean,” he announced.  

    “That’s right, you’re all cleaned up.  But how do you feel buddy? What’s it feel like in your head now?”  

    Shaun gaped back at him, totally uncomprehending.  Then he pointed at Aaron and said, “Him sweepin’.”  

    Mark was certain of the programme’s success now. Shaun’s mind was as simple as any two and half year old’s.  He barely had any words left.  So, all that remained was to get him changed into his new outfit.  It was packed carefully in his carry-on, buried to ensure Shaun didn’t see it too early.  

    “Okay sweetie, let’s get you changed, then you can have a nice sleep just like Aaron.”  

    **

    Just over ten hours later, and after getting some well deserved rest, Mark undid his seat belt and grabbed their bags from the overhead compartment. Aaron and Shaun were both awake now and playing games on their tablets. Simple, colourful games perfect for the simplest of little ones.  

    “Hey guys, we need to put those away. It’s time to get up,” Mark told them brightly, undoing their seatbelts for them.  

    When they got onto the plane Shaun had helped Aaron into his seat, helped the simple man do up his belt. Now he simply sat there while Mark undid his belt for him, letting his former colleague take his tablet and stow it away.  

    Mark guided both young men out into the aisle. He left the special blanket lying on a seat, along with their rubbish. On the floor beneath the seats sat two pairs of sneakers, socks stuffed inside of them.  Mark smiled as he looked down at the floor, at the two pairs of bare feet padding along the aisle ahead of him.  None of the other passengers seemed to mind though. It was obvious these men were special as they say.  Aaron had boarded the plane wearing his yellow t-shirt and blue jean overalls.  But now Shaun was in his own pair of faded blue bib overalls, the ankles cuffed up.  There was no mistaking him for a grown-up anymore.

    Change of Perspective

    This is an old classic of mine from several years ago. I’m republishing it here as it’s one of my favourites and many probably haven’t seen it before.  

    “So you really want to do this?” I asked my flat-mate, Jake. He nodded. “She said it would really help me if I’m going to volunteer at the place. Getting to see it the way kids see it. It will be a real once in a lifetime experience.” “It just seems like overkill to me.” Jake gave me a serious look. “Jeff, if you don’t want to do this I won’t go through with it. I’m sure there are other places I can volunteer.” I shook my head. “No, no, this is the place with the top programme and I already told you I’m fine with having to keep an eye on you a little bit more. That doesn’t bother me. I just wondered if you were cool with it, really. I mean, seeing the world through a toddler’s eyes sounds a little creepy to me.” “Well it’s not like I’m going to turn into a snot-nosed little tyke. She said the contacts will just help me relax a bit, feel more like I belong there so I’m not so self-conscious.” Jake had received the courier bag with his outfit the night before and was now preparing to don the contents. He’d wanted to volunteer at the local daycare centre for some time now. He was studying the psychology of early childhood as part of his Master’s degree studies. The Top Ten Kids care centre just down the road had an excellent reputation apparently. Jake had talked to them about an internship and they told him there was just one requirement. He had to spend a few days seeing the place as one of the kids. When Jake first told me about their request I laughed out loud, thinking it had to be some sort of joke. “How on earth can they expect you to play around like some kind of little toddler?” I asked. That was when he explained about the contacts. I’d heard of such things before, but only in academic journals about research being done on them. I wasn’t really clear on how they worked, only that they allowed the wearer to enter a sort of waking trance state which could make them very suggestible in general or also deliver special suggestions to make them not want to smoke or drink or be less angry, that sort of thing. They were being tested as a cure for all sorts of addictions. But this time the contacts were said to help shift Jake into a more toddler-like mindset. That was why my cooperation was necessary. They warned Jake that he might have reduced thinking abilities and toddler emotions and mood-swings even while not at daycare. He needed someone to watch out for him at home, basically keep him safe and cared for.

    “So you won’t be throwing any tantrums then?” I asked, half-joking. He shook his head. “No, of course not. I just might feel a little bit moodier than normal she said. Fewer inhibitions, less forethought before doing something that might be dangerous.” “Fewer inhibitions? Do I need to warn the neighbours that you might be streaking around the neighbourhood? I’ve seen the neighbour’s little boy run around nakie-bum a couple time, right down their driveway and along the footpath. You sure you won’t be joining him?” Jake laughed and shook his head. “I don’t think that’s quite what she meant,” he said. I nodded, knowing that Jake was a very modest guy, always wearing long jeans and good collared shirts. He had quite a few pairs of good shoes too, but not one set of jandals. Of course that was about to change. The courier bag contained his outfit for the day. It was designed to make him fit in with the other boys. He’d got a big frown as he pulled out the jean shortalls with an applique yellow ducky on the bib and a bright red shirt with Big Bird across the front. At first he seemed relieved there were no light-up sneakers or Disney cartoon sandals but then he read the note which explained there was no footwear included because he would be expected to attend barefoot as most of the boys preferred to play in their bare feet and they asked parents leave the little ones’ shoes at home. I had to admit that he actually looked kind of cute wearing the whole outfit this morning. It really made him look like an oversized toddler. It was past eight o’clock and it was time to get him going now. He held the little container the contacts came in, looking a little bit nervous himself. “Well I guess you might as well get it over with,” I said. “Here goes nothing,” he said with a little nod, unscrewing the lids and placing the contacts on the tip of his finger one by one and slipping them onto his eyes. I watched closely as he finished and blinked, letting them adjust. “You feel any different?” I asked. He shrugged. “I… I don’t think so. Oh…” he said, trailing off, his eyes widening a bit, like he saw something in the distance. “What?” “There’s these colours floating around the edge of my vision. It feels…relaxing. Yeah, like I was kind of nervous before. But now I’m not.” He giggled lightly. “I’m not nervous at all in fact. I feel kind of giddy. The colours are soothing.” “You ready to get going then?” Jake was staring off in the distance for a moment. “Going?” he repeated. “To daycare silly,” I reminded him. Jake smiled now, and it looked like a real one, like he was actually excited at the idea of going to the daycare. “Yeah, let’s get going!” he urged. We headed out the door and I was amazed to see Jake skip right out to the car, heading straight from the back door and standing boldly in full view of any neighbours or traffic in his shortalls. I headed out and took my time finding the keys, waiting to see if he showed any signs of bashfulness, or grew aware of his outfit. But there was nothing. He just gazed about, as if truly seeing the world through new eyes. As we got in the car and he settled right into the back seat I said, “You like your special outfit Jake?” He looked down at his clothes again, the ones he’d been aghast at just half an hour ago. “They’re not bad actually,” he said. “They’re pretty comfy.” “You like Big Bird?” He gave me an accusing look. “I’m not really a baby Jeff! Don’ be silly!” I chuckled and started the car. ** When we arrived at the daycare centre Jake seemed even more pleased to be going there. “You looking forward to playing with the other boys?” I asked, jokingly. But now Jake seemed to nod earnestly. “Playing will be fun,” he agreed. “What kind of stuff will you get to do?” He put a finger to his lip, thinking about it. “Umm, finger painting, story time, circle time… umm, colouring and free play.” “Sounds like it will be a busy day.” “Uh-huh!” I giggled. “Okay, let’s get going.” I walked Jake into the brightly coloured play area. A woman in a purple blouse and jeans welcomed us inside. “Hello there, I’m Emily Brown. I run this place,” she said to me, shaking my hand. “Hi there, I’m Jeff, his flat-mate and I guess his guardian now.” She nodded. “Yes, thank you so much for agreeing to help him out.” “It’s okay, I just wanted to give him the chance to have a little fun this week,” I said, watching as Jake gazed around the playroom before us, not listening to our conversation. “Did he take well to the contacts this morning?” she asked, noting his glassy-eyed look. I nodded. “I guess so. Well, he went straight to the back seat and he didn’t seem to mind people seeing him in his outfit, or his bare feet. Jake’s never liked going barefoot before, have you buddy?” I asked, prompting him. Jake looked up, his eyes unusually blank. They flicked down to his feet, then back to us. “I’m barefoot now,” he stated neutrally, just giving us the facts. Emily Brown chuckled. “You sure are Jakey,” she cooed in a sickeningly sweet, cloying tone. “I bet it’s much more comfy being at barefooted isn’t it?” It was such an awfully condescending way to talk to a man, with that silly sing-song. I was sure Jake would give her one of his cross looks. But instead he smiled, and it was this silly, childish grin like I’d never imagined a grown man could have. “Bare feet are comfy,” he agreed, wiggling his toes in the carpet. My mouth hung open. I’d never thought I’d hear Jake say something so silly. But Brown just nodded and then reached out for his hand. He gave it to her easily, happily. He seemed comfortable with having someone else in charge of him. “We’ll take you over to join the older pre-schoolers today Jakey,” she said cheerily. “They’re making pictures of their homes. Does that sound nice?” Jake nodded honestly. “I like to colour,” he told her. “Then you’ll have lots of fun today sweetie-pie,” she cooed to the smiling twenty-something man in the Big Bird shirt. Turning to me she said, “You can pick him up at three. But you need to know that the effects of the contacts only grow with time. He may be a bit more dependent this afternoon than he was this morning.” “Really? Hmm, it’s just, we were planning to have dinner with a friend of ours tonight.” “Oh I’m sure you can still do dinner, but you may need to keep a closer eye on Jakey by then. And you’ll probably need to warn your friend about the contacts and Jakey’s behaviour.” I nodded, saying goodbye to my flat-mate and wondering what she meant by more dependent. As I walked out I did take a glance at the play area Jake was being led by the hand over to. There were half a dozen kids already there and sure enough each of them was barefoot, two other boys wearing bright overalls just like his. A woman was bringing her children in as I left. A little boy of three or four was tottering alongside her, hand held tightly by hers, wearing a cartoon t-shirt, baggy shorts and bare feet. In her arms was a smaller girl, probably about two, wearing a red t-shirt and a pink pull-up but nothing over it. At least Jake wasn’t trying to be one of her friends I thought. ** It was a warm sunny day and when I returned to pick Jake up I could see parents carrying out other little ones who were now stripped down to just their diapers or pull-ups. The older children at least seemed to still be dressed, so that was a relief. Emily Brown was right there at the front to greet me again. “Welcome back Jeff, good to see you’re right on time.” I nodded. “So did he have a good time?” “Oh my yes! He’s been just a delight today. He’s getting on very well with the other children. I think he’s very promising.” I was glad to hear this might all be worth it. She sounded impressed, so maybe he would have the internship. “Now I have to warn you that he has taken quite well to the contacts and you’ll find him a bit less mature than this morning when you dropped him off. Also, he’s doing so well that I’ve asked him to move to the little ones’ room tomorrow. So he’ll be in with the two year olds.” This really took me aback. He’d never mentioned anything like that being a possibility. “And he’s okay with that?” I asked. “Definitely. He seemed quite excited about the idea. But it means he’ll need to leave the contacts in until he goes to sleep tonight. They need to keep working on him longer to prepare him for that. Also I have something for you,” she said, reaching behind the counter and producing a small bag. “This is his outfit for tomorrow. He might not be quite ready for it now, so don’t take it out until tomorrow.” I took the bag from her, kind of wanting a peek myself, but holding back. “Okay then,” I agreed. “Wonderful, let’s get your little buddy.” Jake was down on his hands and knees in the middle of the carpeted play area, pushing a toy fire-truck around in circles with a look of intense concentration on his face. He was even making siren noises for it! “Jakey honey, time to go!” the woman called. Jake looked up and saw me, grinning broadly and hopping to his feet. He made a bee-line for us, for me actually and it was almost like he was going to… “Hi Jeff, I had the bestest time! I made pictures ‘nd coloured, ‘nd we got all messy wid the paints!” he babbled at a mile a minute, throwing his arms right around me and cuddling me in the tightest of hugs. I wasn’t sure how to react. I definitely had not expected him to give me a hug, especially not one that seemed filled with such love and closeness. It wasn’t a hug between friends, it was the hug a little boy gave to his daddy, to his protector and carer. I managed to close my arms loosely around him, feeling myself blush as other children and daycare workers looked at us. I patted his back gently, hesitantly. “Well that’s umm, good Jake. I’m glad you had so much fun buddy.” Jake smiled and finally released me. “Why don’t you show Jeff what you made for him,” Brown suggested. Now Jake’s smile faltered. He blushed a little, looking ashamed for the first time. “No Miss Bwown, that’s okay,” he whispered in a tiny little voice. “Don’t be silly Jake, you were very proud of it earlier,” she reminded him, taking something from a pile of papers and handing it to him. “Here you are sweetie, show it to him.” Jake held up a crumpled piece of A3 paper with a childishly drawn house on it. There was many colours, crude lines and lots of glitter but I recognised it as a house at least. “I drew this for you,” he whispered. I held back my laughter because I could see how embarrassed he was. “Oh, that’s great buddy. We’ll have to put it on the fridge,” I said, unable to resist the jibe. Poor Jake blushed beet red, letting me take the drawing from him. “Well you have a lovely dinner tonight,” Brown declared, heading back to the play area. Jake walked quietly with me to the front door. I started into the car park and was about to ask him something when I realised he wasn’t there anymore. I turned around and saw him still standing just beyond the doors, looking nervously at the small car park and extending his hand towards me. I turned around and went back. “You okay Jake?” I asked. “Don’ cross roads by myself,” he said seriously. “Oh, okay,” I said, taking his hand. He smiled now and skipped along beside me. “How come you can’t do it yourself?” I asked. “Need a gwown-up,” he replied with a noticeable lisp. “But aren’t you really a grown-up too?” I asked, wondering how major these changes were. Jake looked confused a moment, but then nodded. “Yeah, but not right now. The contacts make me feel too little. I don’ feel like a gwown-up no more.” “Okay then, I can understand that. I guess it will be nice when we can take them out and you can feel all big again.” He nodded vigorously. “Den I can do stuff on my own again.” “Yeah, you won’t make me anymore silly pictures for the fridge.” He pouted, it was almost adorable. “I know that’s stupid. I just didn’ think about it when we did it.” “It’s okay buddy, I understand. Hey, your feet okay, the pavement looks hot.” He glanced down at his bare feet on the pavement. “No, they fine,” he said. I got him in the back seat, glad he could at least do up his own seat-belt. I was beginning to really worry. “So you want to get those contacts out now, put ‘em back in next morning?” He shook his head. “Miss Bwown says I gotta wear ‘em all day, so I’m ready to be real little tomorrow.” “Okay then,” I agreed, not wanting to argue with him in this state. When we got home I let Jake relax and watch some cartoons. I was pretty amazed to see him actually choosing to put on Nickelodeon and watching silly little kid cartoons lying on his stomach, swinging his legs behind him. I got him an ice block for a treat and he made a pretty good mess of his face with it. “So are you gonna get changed?” I finally asked him. “Huh?” he asked, confused. “You’re still wearing your silly little kid outfit Jake.” “It’s comfy,” he answered. “Okay, but we’re going out to dinner with Liz remember? You can’t wear that.” Jake frowned. “Oh… oh yeah. Okay, I’ll change,” he agreed. I was glad that was settled but ten minutes later I found Jake still in his shortalls, sitting cross-legged on the floor kind of picking at his toes. “Jake, what are you doing? I asked. He looked up innocently. “Lookin’ at my toes,” he replied simply. “Why?” He shrugged. “They kinda funny.” “Well, I thought you were gonna change.” He nodded. “What am I wearing?” he asked me. “You want me to choose your outfit?” He nodded, totally serious. “Well, okay. I’ll lay it out on your bed.” He nodded and returned to playing with his toes, like this was perfectly normal. I laid out a good polo shirt and khakis cargo shorts for Jake to wear, then called him in to change. He padded into the room, didn’t even really look at the outfit and started to strip down right in front of me. He was down to his tighty-whities in no time, then started pulling on the shorts. “So that’s okay to wear?” I aked him. He shrugged, not caring what I put him in apparently. It occurred to me that I’d missed the chance to really pull a joke on him. I could have taken him to dinner in his shortalls. That would have been a laugh. Finally Jake was in his much more adult clothes, looking close to normal again, except for the ice cream still stained all around his lips. Finally I realised that I’d have to clean it off him, wetting a paper towel and wiping my flat-mate’s face clean while he stood there obediently, like this was normal. “Okay, let’s get going before we’re too late,” I said, heading for the door. Jake nodded and trotted right after me. I pulled on my shoes and socks and headed out the door, unlocking the car with the key fob. Jake hurried past me, like it was a race, giggling as he reached the back door. That was when I noticed he hadn’t put any shoes on. I sighed, shaking my head. “Jake, you forgot your shoes mate.” He looked down at his bare feet, then back at me and shook his head. “Nope, didn’ forget.” “Well then where are they?” “In the house. I don’ wan’ ‘em.” I furrow my brow. “You don’t want them? Well what are you planning to wear to dinner?” “I’m goin’ barefooted,” he replied cheerily. “Jake, you can’t go to a restaurant barefoot.” He pouted again. “Why not?! I wanna!” he sulked. “People don’t do that Jake. They wear shoes to go place like restaurants.” He shook his head defiantly. “Nuh-uh! Miss Bwown said little boys c’n go barefoot lots of places. She says it’s good for little boys to go barefoot, cuz it makes ‘em comfy and cute.” I had to admit that it was true little kids went barefoot in public a lot, even to the restaurant we were headed to tonight. “Are you sure you really want this? I’ve never seen you even leave the house without your shoes Jake?” He nodded. “I like the feelin’ of barefoot. Is just better. I don’ know why grown-ups wear shoes so much.” “Okay then,” I agreed, giving him a huge grin. “Thanks Jeff!” he chirped, throwing his arms around me without warning and giving me another tight hug right there in the driveway. “That’s okay buddy. As long as you’re okay with being a barefoot little boy, I’m fine with it too.” “Kay!” he chirped, letting me go and climbing back into the car. ** Lone Star was one of those American-themed family restaurants. It had a kid’s play area in one corner with a ball pit and some simple slides, while the other side of the restaurant was dominated by an old-fashioned bar. Thus it catered to a diverse crowd. Jake and I came here from time to time and generally sat at the bar, or at least close to it. But as we walked into the restaurant today I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. There were a few families and couples waiting to be seated when we walked in. I noticed the eyes flicking down to Jake’s bare feet, then looking away, trying not to stare but clearly disapproving. Jake didn’t seem to notice the stares at all. He wasn’t paying any attention to the grown-ups. Instead he was looking at a little boy of about seven or eight who was sitting on the waiting bench between his parents. He was wearing a green Ben Ten t-shirt and baggy colourful board shorts and was just as barefoot as Jake, no sign of discarded shoes or jandals anywhere. Jake pointed right at the boy and announced to me, “See boys c’n go barefoot here!” at a volume that assured everyone in the room heard him. The disapproving looks were gone. Everyone now thought that Jake was a retard. Now there were some looks of pity, but mostly of understanding. Little boys could go barefoot, and so could unfortunate young men with little boys’ minds. The barefoot little boy on the bench even smiled and told his parents, “Look, that boy’s barefoot too.” None of the staff said anything about Jake’s lack of shoes. A perky young woman told me that Liz was already here and seated. I felt bad about getting there so late, but she’d have to understand when she saw Jake. The woman led us across the restaurant, a few people glancing at Jake’s feet as we walked. I wondered what kind of looks we’d have gotten if he’d been in his full pre-schooler glory in Big Bird shirt and shortalls. Liz looked up from her iPhone as we approached, giving us a little wave, then noticing Jake’s lack of shoes and becoming confused. We slid into the booth facing her. Liz was a good friend of ours going pretty far back. She’d been away for a few months doing contract work overseas though. This was supposed to be her welcome back dinner. “Going a bit casual Jake? Did you lose a bet?” she asked, knowing how completely out of character this was. Jake shook his head, seeming confused. “I didn’ lose no bet,” he insisted. Liz instantly noticed the poor grammar and pronunciation he had. He seemed to have completely missed her joke as well, oblivious to the sarcasm. “Why aren’t you wearing shoes?” she asked more directly. “I don’ like shoes no more. They’re all tight and hot on my feets and Miss Bwown says I don’ gotta wear ‘em cuz I’m a boy now,” he explained. Liz looked at him like he’d sprouted a second head. Then she turned to me, seeing from his happy expression that he was not going to give her any better answer. “Okay, what’s the joke here?” she demanded from me. “It isn’t a joke. Jake is trying out for an internship at a daycare centre near where we live and they wanted him to try being one of the kids for a few days, see things from their perspective.” Liz looked unconvinced. “Well he’s taking it a bit far isn’t he? I mean walking around barefoot in public like this? There’s no one from the daycare watching you here Jake,” she assured him. I was about to explain further when the arrival of our waitress interrupted me. She was a pretty young blonde with a name tag reading “Ginger.” “Hello there!” she chirped. “Can I get you started with any drinks?” Liz put up her hand. “Definitely,” she declared. “I’ll have a gin and tonic. The way this night is going I’ll need it and more.” Ginger chuckled politely and wrote the order down. “I’ll just have a Coke,” I told her. She nodded and then looked at Jake, who was sitting there gazing about the restaurant, oblivious once again. “Jake,” I prompted, nudging him. He looked over at me, not seeming to understand. “What do you want to drink?” He looked up at the waitress, who was trying to appear infinitely patient. “Milk,” he said simply. The waitress blinked. “Just a glass of milk?” she asked. Jake nodded, then seemed to think it over better. “Chocolate milk?” he asked, looking hopeful. The waitress giggled and nodded. “Okay then, one chocolate milk.” Jake beamed. I’d never imagined he could be so delighted about chocolate milk. “Okay, I’ll be right back with that,” Ginger told us, heading off. Liz was not looking impressed. “Chocolate milk? What are you five?” Jake pouted, his eyes looking at the table. “No,” he said in a sukly whisper. “I’m really a big boy.” Liz seemed to realise that Jake was legitimately wounded by her comment. Her anger turned to concern in an instant. She looked at me. “You better explain to me what’s going on here, fast.” “I was trying to before Ginger arrived. Jake’s trying out some of those new computer contacts, the ones that induce a trance state and alter perception or behaviour.” “Oh yeah, I have heard about those. But I though they were only going through testing in research labs.” “Well maybe this daycare place is part of a research scheme. I don’t know how but they have the things and they gave them to Jake and he has to wear them to put himself in the shoes of the kids. Or in this case the lack of shoes of the kids.” Liz looked back at Jake. “Is that true?” He nodded solemnly. “How long has he had them on?” “Just since this morning. I think he mostly feels like a four year old right now,” I explained. “No wonder he doesn’t want shoes on. My nephew Paul is that age and he’s just the same way. Only time he ever had shoes on his feet is for church and they don’t stay on long there.” “Little boy like goin’ barefoot,” Jake agreed, seeming pleased to have something to contribute to the conversation. I realised he hadn’t been saying much at all in fact. I turned and asked, “Jake, is all this confusing to you?” He nodded. “Grown-ups use lots of big words.” “He’s actually pretty adorable,” Liz noted. “He can make quite a mess too,” I replied. “I bet he can!” Ginger appeared back with the drinks, even having dropped a curly blue straw in Jake’s milk. He lit up at the sight of it and was quickly slurping away at it. “Now, what can I get you all to eat?” Liz ordered fillet mignon and I just wanted a normal old burger with fries. Ginger wrote them down then looked at Jake. He was gazing at the menu, looking uncomfortable. He looked at me and pointed at a word. “What’s that say?” he asked. I looked where he was pointing. “It says hamburger. Is that what you want?” He shook his head. “Don’ like ‘em.” “Well what do you want?” He looked back at the menu, frowning. “What’s that one?” he asked, pointing again. “Ravioli,” I told him. “What’s that?” “You don’t remember what ravioli is?” I asked, stunned. He shook his head. “I feel kinda fuzzy ‘bout lots of things,” he admitted. “It’s pasta with cheese and spinach inside it,” I told him. He made a disgusted face. “Ugh! Spinach is yucky!” he declared. Liz and Ginger shared a chuckle. He started pointing somewhere else and I had a sinking feeling. “Jake, how much of the menu can you read?” “I know the little words,” he said. “That one is ‘and’ and that’s ‘egg’,” he told us proudly. “But the big ones is tricky.” “Okay then, let me see it,” I said, taking the menu. “How about chicken fingers,” I suggested, recalling I loved those as a kid. Now he nodded. “Yeah, those are yummy in my tummy!” We all shared a laugh at the fully grown man rubbing his stomach for us to see. “Okay, I’ll have those right out,” Ginger assured. Liz and I had a bit of a catch up about her travels and work overseas. Jake couldn’t really take part in the conversation. He started getting fidgety pretty quickly. I could feel him swinging his legs back and forth at first. Then he began changing his seating position and pushing salt and pepper shakers around like toys. He knocked one over, spilling salt across the table. “Sorry,” he squeaked while I had to get a napkin and clean his mess up. “I don’t think those are toys Jake,” I admonished. He shrugged and looked down again. He was still for a moment but then the squirming commenced. Next thing I knew he climbed up into the booth seat and stood right up. Everyone was staring at this as I grabbed his hand and yanked him back down. “Jake, don’t stand on that!” I snapped. “Sit down right now, you’re making a scene.” Jake sat down quickly, looking like I’d hit him. “Sorry,” he squeaked again. Liz reached across and patted his hand. He looked on the verge of tears. “Hey, hey, it’s okay buddy. It’s okay Jake.” He looked up, his eyes watering. “I know you can’t help it Jake. It’s the contacts. You can’t help being fidgety. You can’t follow our words so being here isn’t any fun is it?” Jake nodded, looking relieved to be understood. “That’s okay Jake. I know what we need to do.” Liz looked around and spotted Ginger, waving her over. “I’m sorry, but could we have a kids’ play-mat and some crayons for him. He’s getting a bit bored with all the grown-up talk,” she explained. Ginger nodded immediately, having worked out that Jake was ‘special’ some time ago. Moments later Jake was happily scribbling away at the play-mat with an orange crayon gripped awkwardly in his fist. Both Liz and I noted that he’d lost the natural crayon or pencil grip taught to children their first year in school. “He seems a lot happier now,” Liz noted. “Yeah, those crayons were a good idea, you’re really good with kids,” I told her. “Well, don’t be so shocked. I take care of my nieces and nephews plenty and I’m a hit with them. But actually I meant he seems a lot happier with those contacts in.” I furrowed my brow. “Happier? He was just having a near tantrum because he couldn’t follow our conversation because the contacts have made him so, d-u-m-b.” I spelled instead of saying it because Jake seemed to be taking note of our conversation. When I spelled out the word instead of saying it he just gazed at me blankly. Finally he said, “What’s that spell?” “Nothing important,” I told him. He shrugged and returned to his colouring. Liz shook her head. “He was upset because you yelled at him. He was quite happy up until then. I think he seems much more relaxed. You know how anxious he is, how high strung.” I had to admit she was right. Jake had been fighting all sorts of stress disorders for years. Looking at him now, he did seem more relaxed than I’d ever seen him before. I thought back to the afternoon spent watching cartoons. He never stopped to enjoy himself these days. It was always work, or worrying about work. Even the way he was happy to parade around barefoot in public was actually an improvement in some ways. He spent so much energy worrying about how people perceived him and now that was gone. Dinner itself went quite well. Jake only made a little mess and I had to wipe his lips off but luckily his clothes seemed unscathed. We decided to stay for dessert though and that’s when things got tricky again. Jake was done with the puzzles and had coloured the whole back of his mat. He was bored again and he’d spotted the play area in the corner. A couple little children were in it right now. One was the little boy from the waiting area, the other was a little girl of about five wearing a red jumper and skirt, but who I noticed also seemed to be charging back and forth to her parents’ table in bare feet. Jake kept craning his neck to look at the play place and the other children. I could see the look of longing on his face. Finally he shouted, “I wanna play too!” pointing at it. I frowned. “I’m sorry Jake, but you’re too big to play in that.” He shook his head. “Nuh-uh! Miss Bwown says I’m little now. I can play with them. Please!” “They let you play at daycare but this isn’t daycare Jake. The restaurant won’t allow it.” He pouted. “Pleeease, pretty pleeease!” he begged. “Maybe they won’t mind,” Liz suggested. “He really seems to want to.” “I don’t want a scene.” “I think if you don’t let him go there’ll be an even bigger scene,” she noted, gesturing to how worked up he was becoming. I saw that she was right, he was on the verge of a tantrum. “Jake, you need to calm yourself down. Remember, you’re actually a big grown-up. You only feel like this because of the contacts you’re wearing.” Jake huffed and began to tear up. “I don’ wanna be grown-up right now!” he shouted. “I wanna play!” “Okay, okay,” I shushed him, patting his back, hoping everyone wasn’t staring. “If you can calm yourself down I’ll buy you a treat for dessert and then you can play in the play area afterwards.” Jake sniffled and wiped tears from his face. He nodded. “Kay.” “Deal?” “Uh-huh.” Jake calmed down and I bought him an ice cream sundae. By the time he was done the other children had left the play area to eat their desserts. I hoped that we wouldn’t be told off anyway. I let him go have his fun and thankfully no one said a thing as the twenty-something man giggled his way down the slides and romped in the ball pit. Liz watched him and nodded. “Yep, I think he is definitely better off this way. Honestly I think it’s a shame it’s just for a week.” I watched the look of glee on his face as he came down the slide and I could only nod in agreement. ** At bed time Jake got in his normal pyjamas but insisted I leave the hallway light on and his door open. He also wanted me to tuck him into bed. I ended up reading him a story from this kids’ book he brought home from daycare. I had to admit there was something very comfortable about sitting there with him cuddled beside me, looking so awed at my ability to read. I was actually starting to feel really protective off him, like he was actually my child to care for. When it was done, he opened his arms wide and asked, “Cuddle?” I couldn’t resist. His eyes were so wide and hopeful, filled with trust. I leant in and gave him a big long snuggle, stroking his hair and patting his back. At the end I pecked a kiss on his forehead and let him rest back on his pillow. “Okay, we need to take the contacts out so your eyes aren’t too sore in the morning.” He nodded sleepily. “Kay.” One at a time I removed them and placed them in their solution filled cases. I looked down for any change. Would he instantly regret our cuddle? Would he blush at all the stupid things he did today, the tantrums? “Night-night,” he mumbled, rolling over and closing his eyes. ** I woke the next morning with something sharp poking me in the ribs. “Ugh,” I said, opening my eyes. “Sorry.” Jake was standing beside my bed, poking at me. “Jake, you’re up already?” He nodded. “Just wanted to say sorry for yesterday.” “Oh, that’s okay. It’s nothing.” “It isn’t nothing!” he insisted. “I was just awful to you. And yet you were wonderful with me, so loving, so caring. You tucked me in, kissed me goodnight. You don’t know how much I appreciated that. I couldn’t explain it to you at the time, I didn’t have the words, the ability to tell you. I felt so safe and cared for. It was amazing.” I was pretty amazed by this revelation. I’d thought I wasn’t doing a great job actually. “It’s really fine. I just treated you like a real kid,” I assured. “And I was so bratty,” he admitted, looking ashamed. “I don’t believe I made you take me to Lone Star barefoot. All those people were looking at us, I remember that now. I didn’t notice then, but now I recall it.” “It wasn’t as big a deal as I thought actually. Once they got that you were ‘special’ they didn’t mind at all.” “Still, thanks mate.” “No worries. So, do you actually want to continue today?” He shook his head. “I don’t want to put you through that again.” “Hey, hey, hey. You don’t do that mate. This isn’t about me. I told you that before. I will deal with whatever comes. I just want to know if you still want to go through with it. You know that she wants you back even further today.” He nodded. “I know. She wants me in the trained toddler group.” “Trained toddler? Like doing tricks?” He shook his head. “No, the toddlers are divided into two groups, the toilet trained ones and those still being trained. You can’t be in daycare there unless you’re at least in the process of training.” “And they do different stuff?” He nodded. “The trained ones are a bit older on average, but more intellectually advanced of course. They tend to be closer to three than two. They use the normal toilets at specific intervals and have more planned activities.” “And the untrained?” “They’re anywhere from about 20 months to three and a half if they’re a little slow. Their parents don’t put any pants or skirts on them, just pull-ups and once they get to daycare those generally stay off. There are a bunch of potty seats in their room and they’re supposed to use them.” “You mean they run around naked all day?” I asked, stunned. “No, not totally naked. Well, some of them are. But most are just bare bottomed. They still have shirts on.” “Wow, and that works?” “Apparently very well.” “But they want you in the trained toddler room?” He nodded. “Yeah, Miss Brown said the contacts will have downloaded some new programming overnight, to make me fit in there better.” “And you’re okay with that?” Jake frowned. “It really worries me, after what happened yesterday. But… I don’t want to back out now, halfway there. I figure, maybe just get it over with.” I nodded. “That’s fine, let’s do it then.” “Really?” “Go get changed into the new outfit she left you,” I directed. Jake nodded and headed back into his bedroom while I got his contacts out. I came to his room, knocking on the door. “You ready?” “Um, yeah. I just feel a bit funny in this.” “Well let me see it then.” The door opened and I had to stifle a laugh. Jake was wearing a green t-shirt with Sylvester and Tweety from Looney Tunes on the front. That and a pair of race car print white underoos with red piping. He wore no pants, no shoes. “Is that it?” I asked. He nodded. “It specifically says I’m not to wear any pants or shorts over the undies.” “Is that normal?” He nodded. “About half the boys turn up dressed basically like this. The rest lose their shorts or pants within minutes of arrival.” “And are you comfortable like that?” “Of course not! I don’t want to walk outside dressed like this.” “So what you want to do?” “I don’t know,” he sulked. “Well, let’s put the contacts in then. Let’s see how they make you feel with their new programming.” He looked warily at them a moment, then shrugged. “Okay, let’s try it.” I unscrewed the lids and let him insert them one by one. “Okay, they’re in.” “Feel anything?” I asked. He stared ahead and I saw his eyes glazing over almost immediately. “There are more colours now,” he noted. “They aren’t just at the edges. They flick across kind-of. They make me feel… peaceful… kinda, sorta… fuzzy ‘nd warm,” he said, his voice slurring and trailing off as his head began to gently wobble. “You okay?” I asked. He continued staring into nothing a few more seconds. “Is bettah this time,” he finally announced, beginning to smile in earnest. As I watched the smile became an ear to ear grin, his whole body relaxing visibly. I put a hand on his shoulder. “Ready to go to daycare and have some fun?” I asked brightly. He nodded. “Gonna pway wid da widdle boys,” he told me happily. “That’s right,” I agreed. A minute later he was letting me lead him to the car, hand in hand, his underoos on full display. On the ride over he just smiled away. “Dis time so much bettah Jeff!” he chirped. “Eberything prettier now. I feel sooo silly.” “Well I’m glad you’re enjoying the ride,” I replied. As we went along he began drumming his feet against the back of the passenger seat. When I looked back again he had his thumb firmly between his lips, sucking away at it. He didn’t move from the car at the daycare centre until I’d taken his hand, the free one that is, he still had his left thumb jammed in his mouth. He seemed totally at peace with his underoos showing, his thumb-sucking and hand-holding ways as we entered the centre. Miss Brown was awaiting our arrival. “Hello there Jeff,” she said, “How is little Jakey this morning?” “He’s acting a lot littler than last night.” “I can see that. He’s made a friend of his thumby now,” she observed. Jake smiled around the digit. “Is nummy,” he mumbled. “I’m sure it is. Lots of little ones here love their thumbies. Some even like their toesies!” she said with a laugh. Jake smiled wider and giggled round the thumb. “Dats silly!” Miss Brown gave him a big nod and then looked back at me. “We’ll be putting him with the bigger toddlers today, at least to start with. Then we’ll see how things progress. We’ll see you back at three.” I nodded and said to Jake, “Okay, have fun today buddy.” But to my surprise his smile disappeared and he looked distraught. “Don’ go Deff!” he squeaked around the thumb, pulling himself closer to my side. I was taken aback by his sudden attachment to me. He was looking at me with absolute adoration. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I rubbed his back and assured him, “I’ll be back very soon. You want to play with all the other little ones don’t you?” Jake nodded, seeming to think that over. “Mmmhmm,” he agreed, but then added, “You stay.” “No Jake, I’m sorry but I need to go. Miss Brown will take good care of you. I promise.” Jake pouted and took his thumb from his mouth. He opened his arms wide and said, “I sowwy. Is da contacts. Sowwy I so siwwy.” “Oh, that’s okay buddy,” I assured, letting him give me another big hug and squeezing him tight this time. “I totally understand. You can’t help it. You’re only little right now.” He nodded, his chin pressing on my shoulder. “Uh-huh, onwy widdle boy.” “Okay, you’ll be fine now won’t you?” I asked, letting him go. He nodded hesitantly. “I’m otay,” he agreed, letting Miss Brown take his hand now. I left him being walked off to his new room, with the poor young man repeatedly stealing looks back at me. I waved until he turned the corner. ** I arrived back right at three to pick him up, figuring the way he felt that morning I’d best not be late. There was no sign of him in the reception area though. I told one of the carers I was there for Jake and they called back to the toddler room to let them know I’d arrived. A minute later Miss Brown emerged from the hallway, looking bright and cheerful. “Hello there Jeff,” she greeted. “Where’s Jake?” I asked, confused. “He’s still playing at the moment and I didn’t want to interrupt it. Also I need to talk to you about a few things.” “Oh, okay. Is he okay then?” “Oh yes, better than okay. He’s taken very well to the contacts. I don’t know if it’s related to them being the newest generation, or he’s just a good match, but it’s been a very quick adjustment for him. It usually takes them three or four days to get to his point.” “Really? Well that’s good I guess.” I said that even though it gave me a weird little pang of sadness. If he’d progressed so quickly that meant it was nearly over and he’d be back to normal soon. As strange as it may sound I’d actually begun to enjoy having Jake all dependent on me, trusting me, needing me, loving me. “Oh yes, very good. We moved him down from the trained toddlers to the untrained room at lunch time.” Now that was a bit of a surprise. “Really, he was okay with that? He didn’t sound so eager this morning before we put his contacts back in.” “Oh he was more than ready. He’d made wees in his underoos without even realising it. Of course he got very embarrassed about it, so we turned up the power of his contacts a bit. He really was ready for the next step though.” “And that solved his embarrassment at wetting himself?” “Very much so. Come have a look,” she said, leading me into the daycare. We walked across the pre-schooler room, then down a long corridor painted in comforting pinks and purples with murals of children playing. We turned the corner into another playroom. There were toys here and there, mats for nap time piled in one corner next to a big comfy seat for an adult to read a story from. Along one wall was a series of bright red and yellow potty chairs, ten in all. They sat atop plastic matting. I noticed that the floor here wasn’t carpeted, it was soft rubber instead. And I could see why. A little red-headed toddler girl was creeping bent over, pushing a little scooter across the floor without a stitch of clothes to cover her dignity. A little sandy-blonde boy about the same age as her, probably two or three, was squatting flat-footed on the floor, bashing two random toys together. He was just as nude as she was. Two other boys and one little girl were playing with various toys, all wearing brightly coloured t-shirts but no pants, no undies, just their bare little bottoms on display. Nobody but the carer seemed to have anything on below the waist. And to my astonishment, I saw that applied to Jake as well. My flat-mate was creeping alongside another little boy, down in a squatting position, leaning forward to see the boy do something with a set of blocks. He still wore his green Looney Tunes t-shirt but below that was his big bare bottom mooning this whole side of the room. He looked like a bigger version of the bare-bummed little tot beside him. “He’s not wearing any underoos,” I gasped. Miss Brown tittered with laughter. “Nope, the ones he came in were quite soaked. We got him another pair but after we turned up his contacts a bit he decided he wanted to be nakie-bum like the other boys and he took his undies back off.” Whatever the boy was doing with the blocks was apparently funny because just then I heard Jake begin to giggle loudly. He laughed his head off, then dropped forward so his head was on the floor and straightened his legs. This had two effects. One was that it allowed us all to see his adult penis swinging back and forth, the other was it made him able to look at the room upside down through his legs. The little boy beside him giggled and then copied him as best he could. “He seems quite happy, doesn’t he?” Miss Brown noted. I nodded. “It’s pretty amazing, but yeah.” “It’s not really that amazing. All the stress from his life is gone. He has nothing to worry about himself and he knows other people will take care if his every need and keep him safe. He finds the world confusing and a bit scary, yes, but also interesting and new.” “Well it certainly looks like now understands the children’s mind-set alright. So I suppose we can reverse this so he can get back to all that wonderful stress.” She shook her head. “Well not really. In fact, that’s kind of up to you.” “What do you mean? It’s his life, his decision.” “No, legally, right now, he’s incompetent to make such decisions and you are legally his guardian.” “What kind of decision do you mean?” “Whether to return to all that pressure, that stressful life, or to stay just like this,” she said, gesturing to Jake as he had a sort of hopping contest with the boy, smiling ear to ear and clapping his hands in glee as he simply jumped in place, his flaccid penis smacking his tummy as he leapt. “Well he can’t stay quite like that,” I said, confused. “Why not?” she replied. “He’s much happier and unless I’ve totally misread you, I believe you’ve been enjoying caring for him like this.” “Well, I haven’t really cared for him in this condition yet. I mean, he looks far less mentally capable now than this morning. But, well yeah, it has been sort of fun.” “So why not let him stay just like this?” she asked. “As long as he’s happy with it.” I shook my head. “Well it doesn’t work that way. The contacts come out, he comes back. Besides what would be the point of it?” “The point would be to test a scientific theory. We could show that the contacts can make long-term changes to behaviour and intellect in a way never before tested. It would be a major breakthrough. And I know that Jake has always wanted to part of something like that.” “I don’t think that’s exactly how he thought of it,” I said. “Well that’s why I’m leaving it up to you. And you’re not exactly right about the contacts by the way. They don’t need to stay in for good.” I’d never heard that in any of the journals. I shook my head in disbelief. “It’s true,” she insisted, taking out a little remote. “The contacts have two special programmes loaded in them. The green button returns Jake’s full faculties. Press this and he’s right back to normal. He can have his internship here, get back to his old life tomorrow. “Or press the red button and Jake gets a delightful kaleidoscope of colours that permanently alter his mind. He’ll be right back at untrained toddler level, perhaps 6 months to a year lower than he was this morning. Except when you take them out it won’t wear off. A week later, a month later, he’ll still be coming here, squatting nakie-bummed with his buddies and giggling his sweet little head off at all their fun.” “Just a press of that button and this becomes permanent?” I asked. “Not just this. This will become his normal. You’ll be daddy in his mind, any previous relationship just a fuzzy, dreamy memory from long ago.” “I… I really don’t know about this,” I admitted. “You don’t have to decide now. He has a few days left on the trial, he won’t know anything has changed. You have a few days to decide then.” “Thanks, I think I need time to think on this one.” She nodded. “Of course. Now, you do need to know a couple things. One is that Jake still has his adult body and thus a man’s sexual drive, but he now had been totally stripped of his inhibitions, his modesty, his memories of privacy. “What I mean is, he’s going to get erections, he won’t know to hide them, he won’t be embarrassed by them. In fact he’ll likely play with himself whenever the urge strikes. His concepts of sex, his memories of it are basically gone. He no longer understands what masturbation even is. He just knows his big pee-pee feels good to touch.” “Oh… oh wow, that is a bit, um, tricky.” “Just don’t make a big deal of it. If he’s doing it in public you’ll have to put a stop to it, but at home, just let him have his fun. He needs the release.” I nodded, wondering how I would react the first time he did it in front of me. “Also the programming he got has been designed to help him fit in here at the daycare, to be comfortable running around as you see him now, bare bummed. That means he’s basically become a little nudist. You’ll have to watch him to be sure he doesn’t strip down in public.” I nodded, taking this all in. “This is a lot of info,” I admitted. She nodded. “I completely understand. That’s why I want you to go to this meeting,” she said, handing me a card advertising a support group meeting. “What is this?” “It’s a support group for people taking care of children like Jake,” she explained. “You mean people with retarded children, or ones with head injuries that made them idiots?” She shook her head. “No, no, I mean people who have worn contacts like Jake and returned to toddlerhood.” “Wait a second! You mean there are others like him?!” She nodded. “Of course.” “But you said he was part of chance to make a breakthrough!” “As a part of the study. Research based on a single person isn’t going to cut it. Self-selection also ruins the objectivity so thus the need to keep you in the dark about the real goal. We need dozens of patients being studied to publish.” “How many of them are coming tonight?” I asked. “I don’t know, there should be a few at least.” “And their kids… they’ve all already hit the red button?” “Yes, none of them are still wearing the contacts.” “Will their kids be there, with them?” “Yes, they usually bring the kids to give them a chance to play with others their size.” “So if you did this to them, why aren’t they here? Why haven’t I seen any other adults with bare bums tottering about here?” “That would attract too much attention. We have a special nursery for our bigger patients. If you press the red button Jakey will be going there from now on.” It was both frightening and intriguing. I took the special remote from her, pocketing it and making my way over to where Jake was playing. He was sitting on his bottom with his legs splayed apart now, chewing on a xylophone stick and running a plastic block back and forth across the xylophone itself. He looked up as I arrived, letting the block fall to the floor. “Deff! Deff!” he crowed around the plastic stick still in his mouth, drumming his heels on the rubber floor. “Hi there Jakey. I see you’ve turned into a little jaybird today,” I joked in a bright voice. Jake giggled and nodded, letting the stick drop too now and holding out his arms for a cuddle. I knelt down and let him have his treat. “Got widdler,” he told me as we cuddled. “I can see that. You got very little indeed.” “Jakey dum-dum. Jakey awll siwwy!” he chirped. I helped him to stand up, noting his wide-legged stance, the slackness to his face, the line of saliva dribbling down his chin. “You certainly are a silly-billy now,” I agreed. “And you’re a nudist. Do you like having your pee-pee all dangly like that with no undies on?” Jake gave me a gaping grin and nodded. “Tooked ‘em off by mysewlf,” he told me. “And you don’t want them back on?” He shook his head vigorously. “I think we’ll have to start calling you Nakey-Jakey,” I told him. He liked that, squealing with approval and clapping his hands. “Nakey-Jakey!” he shouted. “My, you are feeling happier like this aren’t you?” I cooed, rubbing his head. Jakey just gaped back, drooling more. “You glad we put your contacts in this morning? Made you turn into a silly little nudist boy?” Another decisive nod. “Con-acts make feew good!” he told me, gripping his flaccid penis and gently fondling it as though there was nothing unusual about a young man doing this. I gently batted his hand away from his penis. “Okay Nakey-Jakey, are you ready to go?” “Uh-huh. Go home now,” he stated. “Okay, but first we need to cover your pee-pee up.” Jake pouted. “Don’ wanna!” he insisted. “I know nakie boy, but you can’t go nakie-bum on the street. It’s not allowed. I promise you can be nudie when we get home if you still want to.” Jake seemed to think about this compromise a moment before finally pouting and saying, “Otay.” Miss Brown have me a set of bright red corduroy overalls for Jake to wear out. Those and some big blue pull-ups to protect them from his suddenly weak bladder. He didn’t want to stand still while we dressed him, but eventually he was clothed and ready to go. We walked him out to the car and got him strapped in. He sat quietly on the ride back and I noticed he was pulling his feet back and forth, touching them to his ears one at a time. “You’re a flexible guy Jakey,” I told him. He grinned. “Know what I dids today?” he asked. “What?” I asked, playing along. “I munched my toes!” he announced happily. “Really?!” “Uh-huh! Munched bot’ my feets.” “Why did you do that silly boy?” “Cuz da con-acts maked me awll widdle ‘nd siwwy!” “I know that Jakey, you were just running around all naked! I mean why did you want to munch your toes. Aren’t they all dirty and icky from going around barefoot?” “Da udda boy munched hims toes, so I dids too.” “And was it nice?” A big grin. “Uh-huh, bettah den my thumby.” “Well I guess that’s one of the treats of being little.” He nodded and then pulled his right foot to his face, jamming his big toe right into his mouth and slurping at it loudly. I laughed at the sight in the mirror. “Are those toes yummy?” They popped clear a second. “Ummy toes!” he screeched, then returned to suckling on them. Jake only let his toes go when he saw the golden arches approaching. “Mac-mac! Maccas!” he shouted, pointing. “That would ruin your dinner,” I warned. He pounded his feet on the front seat. “Macca-macca! I wan’ some!” “Okay, okay, but no more yelling or there will be no dinner at all,” I threatened, amazed at how unruly and lacking in patience or manners my once prim flat-mate had become. Jake nodded seriously as we pulled into the McDonald’s. He didn’t seem to be concerned at all as he padded barefoot across the car park into the store. But I felt very self-conscious leading this man along wearing a set of very childish overalls. The elastic ankles were slipping up to his calves as he entered too. All eyes were on him as he toddled over to the counter, right past the small line. Some people looked away, others stared openly. “Jakey, we have to wait in line,” I told him, holding out my hand. He gazed back with wide eyes and toddled quickly over, taking my hand. He wasn’t totally quelled though. He spun around and tried to hand from my arm, played with his lips and made lots of funny noises that kept attracting looks from the other patrons. I was blushing myself, but thankfully Jake was once again totally oblivious. I felt jealous of him for once. “He’s a special little boy, isn’t he?” I turned to see an older woman smiling kindly at Jake. “Oh, yes, he’s ‘special’,” I confirmed. “He’s very cute in his outfit. It’s lovely that you take him out and give him treats like this.” “Oh, thank you,” I said, glad that someone was acknowledging my role. “My grandson likes his feet free too. It’s the kind of thing most boys have to grow out of, but not the special ones,” she noted, looking at Jake’s bare feet and ankles. I nodded. “Yeah, that’s one of the nice things I guess, being able to stay barefoot. Jakey just loves being barefoot, don’t you buddy?” Jakey hadn’t really been following our conversation, but had looked up at the mention of his name. I could see it was all a bit over his head, but he got the gist of my last statement. He nodded and said, “Don’ gotta wea’ shoes cuz I widdle.” She looked directly at him now. “You like having free tootsies don’t you?” she cooed. Jakey smiled and nodded. “I munch ‘em,” he told her with a naughty little giggle. “You munch your tootsies?” she repeated with a laugh of her own. “My you are a silly boy. So adorable.” The nice old woman gave Jakey’s hair a ruffle and headed off. The rest of our meal was uneventful. Jakey went to play in the play area and I didn’t try to stop him this time. He was a special boy now, he deserved to have the fun that came with it. He couldn’t drive, he couldn’t work, he couldn’t even read the menu at McDonald’s, instead having to wait for Jeff to order for him while he just shyly sucked his thumb and stared at their server. There were so many things he couldn’t do now, but what he could do was climb backwards up the plastic slide and hang from the monkey bars. ** The meeting was held at an address on the north side of town. Jakey seemed happy to have had his McDonald’s and best of all he’d gotten a toy with his meal. It was just some cheap plastic piece of crap but he was just enthralled with it. We’d gone home first and he spent ten minutes sitting on the kitchen floor playing with it. I couldn’t believe it every time I came back in and he was still there batting it about, giggling to himself. Finally I’d come back and the toy was lying on the floor abandoned and he was climbing on the countertop, opening the last of the cabinet doors, having already opened all the others. “What are you looking for?” I asked him. “Nothin’, jus’ lookin’,” he said innocently. Now we had arrived at the house and I was excited to see other people like Jakey. Well actually not like him. Jakey only needed to take out his contacts to be normal again. These people really had toddler minds now. I did wonder what that would look like. Jakey toddled along, holding my hand as we went up to the door. I could hear chatter inside. I rang the bell. A moment passed and the door opened. It was a pretty woman of about thirty. She wore her long blonde hair in a single pony-tail and was dressed in a comfortable blouse and skirt with sandals. She looked from me to Jakey, watching him suck away at his thumb again, blinking wide eyed at her. Then she smiled. “You must be Jeff,” she said. I nodded. “So then this must be Jakey. Miss Brown told me all about this precious little guy.” “Has she?” “Oh yes, we’re always interested in who might be joining our little group.” Another female voice called “Who dat mumma!?” and a second later another young woman about the same age as her appeared at her side. She also had blonde hair, but it was done up in pig-tails. She had a sweet, innocent look on her face, her eyes were blank and curious looking. She was also completely naked. Her bare breasts, and they were sizable things, were right there in front of me. She made no movement to cover her nudity, even standing in the open doorway. She cuddled herself closer against the woman’s side. “Who dat?” she repeated quietly. “These are some new friends,” the woman told her softly. “This nice man is Jeff and that little boy is Jakey. He might like to play with you.” The girl looked at me with big eyes, then at Jakey. “Boys is icky mumma,” she whispered. The woman just chuckled. “Well I don’t think we need to worry about any hanky-panky between them,” she joked. “Yeah, guess not…” I muttered. “Oh, how silly of me. I’m Pat and this little angel is Debbie,” she said, stroking the naked woman’s cheek. “Nice to meet you both,” I said, trying not to stare at the bared breasts before me. Finally Pat seemed to realise my discomfort. “Oh, I’m sorry, this is a bit new for you of course. Debbie is a bit of a nudist these days, a lot of our special children are, thanks to the contacts. We like to let them be comfy when just playing at home.” “Oh of course. I understand that completely,” I assured her. “Jakey’s started developing a nudist streak of his own today.” “Nakey-Jakey!” he announced with a grin. Pat gave him a big nod. “Is that so? Are you a nakey boy Jakey? You can see that my little Debbie girl is.” “Didje have con-acts? Dat why she nakey?” he asked. Pat nodded. “Yep, Debbie had contacts just like yours.” Debbie just kept sucking her thumb, clinging to the other woman. “Well let’s come on in guys.” She waved us in and we followed her into the living room. There were several women and a couple men sitting there dressed casually but smartly, chatting over cups of tea and coffee. On the floor at their feet a young man in his twenties was creeping around on his hands and knees pushing a plush stuffed rabbit across the carpet. He wore a short yellow t-shirt and nothing else, his penis dangling there. Another young woman sat between one of the men’s legs. She had short red hair and slightly tanned very freckled skin. Her perky little breasts were also on show as she two sat their naked on her bare bottom. She was gaping up at her daddy, craning her neck back into his lap, shaking a red circular toy that appeared to be some sort of rattle. “Hi there Jeff,” the men and women all said in greeting. I felt a little weird being the centre of attention. “Oh, um, hi everyone,” I said, noticing that the two naked or semi-naked young people on the floor only glanced up at me for a moment before returning to their own activities. “Come right in,” one of the men beckoned. “Jakey can play right here or he can join the others in the back yard.” Jakey followed me in, holding my hand tightly. He seemed to be a bit uncertain with all these people looking at us. Instead his eyes fell to the naked man and woman. “Dem nakie,” he pointed out. There was a collective chuckle. “Yeah, I guess Jakey came a bit overdressed,” I joked. “That’s no problem. But if he’d be more comfy we can put his clothes in Debbie’s bedroom with the others’,” Pat told me. “Well, that might be okay. What do you say Jakey? You wanna get nakey or keep your clothes on?” Jakey lit up at the question. “Wan’ be nakie!” he quickly announced. “That’s what I thought,” Pat said. “Take my hand sweetie and we’ll take you to get changed.” “Kay,” he said simply, letting the woman lead him away. “Have a seat Jeff,” one of the men said, gesturing to an open chair. I took the seat and looked around. “So, you all decided to, um, push the red button?” Some looked a bit surprised at my bluntness, but I didn’t come here to beat around the bush. “Yes, we all made what we believe was the right choice for our little ones,” the man next to me replied, stroking his hand through the naked woman’s red hair. “You think it was right? You haven’t regretted it?” He shook his head. “No, not for a moment. I’m Bill by the way and this sweet thing is Molly. She used to be my girlfriend, but she’s so much happier now as my baby girl.” Molly chewed on the plastic rattle, staring blankly up at the ceiling as we discussed her. “She’s pretty little isn’t she?” He nodded. “She’s eighteen months now, a bit younger than most. I took a while to make the decision and she’d been wearing the contacts for a week. They say that’s why she went a bit littler than the others.” “She’s still a little nudist though.” “Ha, yep, she sure is. She has a cute little body though. I make sure she gets plenty of outside play in the sun too, in our backyard. No tan lines for my little beauty.” “Who’s little boy is he?” I asked, gesturing to the young man creeping around at our feet. “His name is Bobby. He’s my baby boy,” answered a tall dark-haired woman. “How long has he been like this?” I asked. “Nearly nine months now. He was a good friend of mine before. He didn’t have a very happy life, battled alcohol abuse and depression. Now he smiles from dawn to dusk.” They all had similar stories about their new kids. None of them had any regrets and they all described the actual transition as a pleasant experience for all involved. Ten minutes in Jakey reappeared from the back room now completely naked, not even a t-shirt on. Most embarrassingly though he was also just as erect as could be, sucking his thumb and toddling across the little circle to me. I blushed even as he seemed unconcerned by these people seeing his pee-pee all stiff like that. “Hey there buddy,” I greeted, letting him come and sit on my lap. “My pee-pee got big,” he told me at full volume, seeming pleased by this development. “Yeah, we can see that Jakey.” “See pee-pee cuz Jakey nakey,” he explained with a smile. “That’s right. We can see you have a happy pee-pee,” I told him. The I looked at the others and said, “I’m so sorry about this. It… it hasn’t happened before.” “Really? Is this his first happy pee-pee as a little one?” a woman named Claire asked. I nodded, feeling so ashamed to even be discussing this. “Well that’s nothing to be concerned about guys. Just let Jakey go play outside with the other boys. They’ll help him take care of his stiffy in no time.” ** It was dark when we left the party. They said not to bother getting Jakey dressed again, so I didn’t. He wasn’t the only one leaving the party still nakey-bum. I drove him home that way and he seemed very happy to stay in his birthday suit once we arrived. It was getting late as I watched Jakey lie on his tummy on the floor watching his cartoons, kicking his legs back and forth. He really was happier this way, more at peace. It was time to make the change, I knew it. But first I needed to talk to him about it, to really talk to him. I took out the remote and keyed the green button. Jake sat up quickly, his jaw dropping and eyes glazing over. He was clearly seeing something pretty different. It took only a few seconds and then he blinked, his eyes focused and he looked up at me with shock. “Jeff, what the hell have I been…” he began. Then he seemed to realise his state of undress. He threw his hands over his penis, blushing bright red. “Really? There’s no need for that. I watched you creep around the floor naked in front of everyone, showing them your erection. We watched that other little boy, Matty, jerk you off in the back yard. You enjoyed it, you smiled, you showed everyone your creamies.” He shook his head. “I… I can’t believe it went that far. I didn’t expect to be such a burden mate, I’m so sorry this all happened. I’ll go take these contacts out and get dressed. We can forget the rest of the week.” “Well hold on. I have to say Jake, you’ve seemed really happy these last couple of days. I’ve never seen you so happy and carefree in fact.” “Yeah, but it hasn’t been real. I mean, my brain’s been fried by these contacts.” “So you haven’t been feeling good? Have you felt trapped in a child’s body?” “Well no, I mean, I have been feeling happy, really happy actually, but I haven’t been in my right mind. My head’s been so… empty. I couldn’t even recognise letters. It was so weird.” “I know Jake. The thing is, you’ve enjoyed being nakey-Jakey and I’ve enjoyed taking care of you too. And that’s why I think it’s best we keep things that way. Just like Debbie and Matty, you’ll be much happier waking up tomorrow still Nakey-Jakey and every day after that.” Jake shook his head. I could see the fear in his expression, the tension in his shoulders. He was gripping his penis even tighter, looking worried. I wanted to take that look of worry away. “I don’t want to be some stupid toddler Jeff. I’m your flat-mate, not your responsibility. I like going to school, thinking about complex ideas. I don’t want to have an empty head incapable of counting to three.” I shook my head. “You say that now, but I know what really makes you happy.” He started backing away. “It’s nothing to fear. All the other parents assured me it feels amazing, just amazing.” “I don’t want to feel amazing Jeff! I want to be me!” “You will be. You’re nakey-Jakey,” I told him, then pressed the red button. His eyes widened in shock for an instant, then glazed over again. His muscles relaxed and his eyes widened, his mouth dropping open. His hands fell away from his penis and I could see it lengthening already, jerking upward, becoming red and engorged. “Ugh!” he grunted, his eyes rolling upward. I knelt at his side and rubbed his arm. “That’s a good boy Jakey. Let it all go.” There were more soft grunts, then his penis exploded with gooey cum, covering his tummy in the release. “Wow, it feels that good huh?” “Ohhh,” he sighed. His eyes rolled back down after another few seconds. He blinked and the smiled at me. “I done sticky pee daddy,” he announced. ** Two Weeks Later: Liz and I both enjoyed our ice cream at Little Burley Petting Zoo. It was a warm, sunny day and and it was nice sitting at the picnic table enjoying the cool, creamy treats while Jakey had his fun. The twenty-something young man hadn’t worn his special contacts in two weeks, but only because he no longer needed them. Right now the young man was walking barefoot through the goat pen, feeding them oats and giggling as they licked his hand and legs. He wore no pants right now, only his Big Bird t-shirt and blue and white pull-ups. He had been wearing overalls when we arrived, but he’d gotten out of those quickly after arriving. I’d found them abandoned on the ground by the rabbit enclosure. There was no point re-dressing him. We had his pull-ups literally taped on tight to keep him from getting out of those. “Look at him with that goat,” Liz chuckled, pointing. He was squatting in front of it, letting the animal lick all over his face, giggling his head off. I expected he was likely leaving us a present in his pull-ups at the same time. That was a familiar squat he was in. “He’s having fun,” I agreed. She nodded. “I’m glad he chose this path. He really seems much happier.” I nodded, not correcting her. A minute later he came toddling over, wide-legged, smiling, face wet with goat drool, hair sticking straight up from it. “Da fuwwies wick me!” he announced brightly. “Those are goats buddy,” I informed him. He gaped blankly. “Dem boats?” he asked. “No sweetie. Goats,” I repeated. He blinked. “Dem wick awll wet. I sticky.” “Do you want me to clean your face?” A vigorous shake. “Nuh-uh.” “Okay then, why don’t you look at that chicken then,” I said, pointing to the hen scratching around. There was glee on his simple face as he toddled off trying to catch the hen in his hands. “He really is delightful,” Liz remarked. “And I was thinking, it might be nice for you to have a little bonding time with him,” she said, pulling out a case of contacts. “What are those?” I asked. “These are his old contacts. I saw them on your bureau. I thought you might like to give them a brief try. I’m here to be in charge, keep you safe.” I waved my hand. “I don’t think so. I mean, they were just for him. Probably wouldn’t do anything to me.” “Oh I think they’ll work on you.” I shook my head. “Pointless.” “Well how about this. I’ll bet you I can have you running around here barefoot and pants-less yourself in ten minutes. If I do you spend the rest of the day with the contacts in.” “And if I don’t get half naked?” “Then you win and I don’t mention this again.” “So you’re going to keep harping at this forever aren’t you?” She nodded with a naughty grin. I looked at the case. I had been wondering what it felt like since the first time I saw Jake try them out. And now she was offering to let me try it. Maybe for just a taste it would be okay. I could trust Liz. And it wasn’t like they worked that fast. I knew how long it took to get Jake down to undies. It was quick, but not ten minutes. “You got a deal,” I said, swallowing the rest of my ice cream. “Great,” she said, unscrewing the caps. “I’ll help you get them in.” I leant back and let her place them in my eyes one at a time. It did kind of sting at first. I had to blink to get them right. Finally I was able to open my eyes. “That okay?” she asked. I nodded. I wondered if they still worked now. Maybe they’d turned off atfter all this time. Then I noticed the colours dancing on the edge of my vision. So this is what he saw. It was a weird thing, the dancing colours. I couldn’t really focus on them, they were always on the edge no matter where I looked, and yet they did seem to draw my attention. And I felt a sense of elation, of relaxation. It was actually quite amazing. My head really was growing fuzzy, my attention wandering. What an exquisite feeling! I did feel kind of drunk or high, kind of giddy. “Jeff honey, you feeling okay?” Liz asked, her hand on my arm. I was more than okay, I felt lovely, like I was floating on a cloud. I nodded and world seemed to bob along with me. “I feel weal good,” I told her, noticing my lisp but finding myself unable to be concerned by it. It just felt natural, normal. She brushed my arm. That was wonderful. “Good, I’m glad you feel nice. I think we should let you enjoy the furry animals while you’re a little boy.” I blinked. I wasn’t a little boy, not for real. But I knew what she meant. I felt little right now. I did feel little. I felt so small and helpless and she looked so big and smart and in control. I needed her to watch out for me. “Kay,” I agreed, finding shorter answers easier suddenly. My tongue felt clumsy. We got up and walked to the goats enclosure. They kind of scared me now. I felt my heart-rate kick upward. I was nervous. “It’s okay Jeff, let’s see the goats, they won’t bite you, I promise.” I held back, eyeing them carefully. Liz reached out and took my hand. I felt instantly better. She would keep me safe. I let her take me to the goats. She put some oats in my palm and told me to hold it out for them. Their tongues were sticky and tickled my hand! It was a lot of fun. We headed out of the goat enclosure and I couldn’t stop rambling on about how much I liked them. I don’t know why I needed to tell Liz this, cause she was there, but I just needed to say it. She chuckled and said, “Yes they were really cute Jeff. But there’s more to see. But you know what, I think you’d be more comfy if we took those sandals off you. I don’t know why we made you wear them in the first place.” I looked down at my sandals. Were they uncomfortable? No, not really. I wore them all the time didn’t I? And yet, it did sound nice, taking them off, going barefoot. But wasn’t there a reason I didn’t want to do that? I tried to remember but it was tricky. The lights at the edge of my vision got a bit brighter and I couldn’t focus at all. “Look at Jakey honey. He’s barefoot and he looks much more comfy.” I looked over at Jakey toddling around. Yeah, his feet did look comfy. And yet… “He’s onwy widdle,” I told her, the lisp feeling totally natural now. She nodded. “And right now you’re little too. Remember it’s okay for little boys to go barefoot. Don’t you always say that?” I nodded, I recalled saying just that before. “It’s okay then honey. Go ahead and take them off if you want to.” I did want to. I sat down and undid the straps and pulled them off. It felt much better to have them off. My toes felt all free and airy now. I wiggled them and watched. It was nice watching my toes. Liz took my hand and I stood again. We went and fed the bunnies next, following Jakey around. I liked the bunnies. They seemed to make the colours get brighter. I saw Jakey sit on his bum and pull at his feet and something popped into my head. It was very important too. Liz needed to know. “Liz, I just membered. Dese contacts were for a widdle toddler, notta widdle boy.” I’d forgotten about the changes that had happened on the second day. And as soon as I said it the colours seemed to dance even brighter on the edge of my sight. I was feeling a little worried but Liz didn’t seem too concerned. She smiled and looked me in the eye. “That’s okay Jeff, that’s nothing to be afraid of,” she assured. I blinked hard, trying not to see the colours. “But I’m feelin’ funny,” I told her. “Jeff, just calm down honey. I want you to do something for me, something I promise will make you feel better.” I nodded. “Kay.” “Open your eyes and look right at the colours honey, and just relax.” It didn’t sound right, but Liz was here to keep me safe. I needed to do as she said. My head was already to fuzzy to think for myself. I opened my eyes and watched the colours expand and dance. And she was right, I didn’t feel scared anymore. I felt so warm and safe and little. Being little was definitely not a bad thing, it was fun. “Better?” she asked. I smiled, feeling delightfully silly. “Awll bettah!” I told her. “See, it isn’t so bad being a toddler,” she told me. She was right, I felt wonderful. I looked around and couldn’t remember exactly where we were, what day it was, what any of these animals were or what their names were. Yet I felt wonderful, free. “I think we should take these shorts off you too now honey,” Liz suggested. I looked down at my jean shorts. They looked okay. “Why?” I asked. “We need people to know you’re a toddler honey, but we don’t have any nice outfits for you. But everyone knows toddler show their undies off.” I didn’t know if that made sense. But I was just a toddler now. I had to trust her. So I nodded. “Kay Wiz.” She smiled and undid the button and unzipped the fly, slipping them down for me to step out of. It did feel better. And once I’d stepped free of them, I felt so much littler and better. The next half hour seemed to fly by. Everything was more interesting now. All the animals amazed me. At one point I looked up to see a young woman in a uniform of some type talking to Liz. “I hope both your boys are enjoying their visit,” she said. Both boys? She meant Jakey and me, I realised. I was one of the boys. It made me feel warm and happy inside as the colours danced again. “You two cuties having fun?” she asked, now looking at Jake and I. It was only then I realised we were both squatting down to feed the duckies. Jakey nodded right away. I felt like I needed to say something, show her I had words. “Duckies go quack-quack!” I announced, screaming the first thing that popped into my fuzzy head. She giggled, which made me feel better. I guess that was a good answer to her question after all. “They sure do buddy. Do you know what sound a birdy makes?” I wasn’t sure. I thought I should know that though. “They go tweet-tweet-tweet!” she told me. That was so funny! I wanna say it too! “Tweet-tweet-tweet!” I shout. Jakey gets up and does the same. We’re both tweeting boys. He hops up and down and I copy him and hop too. The nice lady says bye-bye and we can feed the duckies again. Liz kneels and rubs my arm. “You’re taking to those contacts very well Jeffy. See, I told you I’d have you barefoot and pants-less and here you are. But you’ve gone a lot deeper than I expected honey. I didn’t think you’d be making animal noise for the staff.” I realise Liz is right. The contacts are making me very little. But for some reason that doesn’t make me upset, it makes me feel happy, really happy. “I goed tweet-tweet to da wady,” I told her. Liz smiled and kissed my forehead. “You are just precious.” I giggle and chase after a ducky. ** We’re back in the car, going home from the petting zoo. But I’m not driving now. Liz said I hadda leave the contacts in cuz I lost the bet. I didn’t want to stay little anymore though. It felt real nice, but I kept getting afraid I’d forget I was really big. And I can’t drive my car, Liz has to do it. She even made me get in the back next to Jakey. He don’t mind because his brain is all mushy now. As soon as we were strapped in he said, “Wizz, I wan’ nakie!” She smiled and nodded and slipped his pull-ups off him. “That better Nakey-Jakey?” “Uh-huh!” he chirped, drumming his feet on the seat. Liz looked over at me. “Would you like to be a nakie jaybird too Jeffy?” I shook my head. “No, I big!” I reminded her. “Well you aren’t big today silly-billy. You can go nakie if it makes you comfy.” I shook my head defiantly. She shrugged and went to the driver seat. I didn’t like being stuck in the back with little Jakey. He was really dumb. He started playing with his feet as Liz drove. When she stopped at an intersection she saw Jakey was munching his toes again. “Oh, that is sooo cute,” she cooed. “Can you eat your feet Jeffy?” I shook my head. “Nuh-uh, I not dat widdle.” “I dunno about that. You’ve really taken to the contacts. I bet you’ll like it if you try it.” “Not gonna,” I huffed, crossing my arms. I was getting tired of this. I wanted to be big again. “Well I guess I might as well tell you now that you’d best just get used to this honey because you aren’t going back to your old life. I’ve talked with the daycare and the group and we’ve all decided this is what’s best for you. Just the way you’ve taken to the suggestions and your willingness to try the contacts proves we were right.” Wait, this didn’t sound right at all! I trusted her! Liz couldn’t make me little, I was the daddy. “Nuh-uh! I wike bein’ da daddy!” I yelled, banging my feet on the chair in frustration. She reached over and tickled the sole of my foot. “I know honey, but you’ll like being the little one even more.” She couldn’t do it, she didn’t have… Liz held up a very familiar remote. I shook my head. It wasn’t possible. I’d hidden it away. “You know this is going to feel lovely honey. And afterwards we’re all going to Pam’s house for a meeting. Well, a meeting for me, a play-date for you.” I shook my head. This couldn’t happen. I needed to get the contacts out before… She pushed the red button. A kaleidoscope of colours erupted across my field of vision. There was instant pleasure roaring through my head. It was a delightful, dizzying high. I could feel my penis stiffening, growing with pleasure. “Jeffy wook funny,” Jakey told Liz. “Yes honey, he’s getting all little now, just like you. It feels very nice to get all little.” “He go nakie?” Jakey asked. Liz nodded. “Yep, you’ll be jaybird brothers.” “Goody!” I couldn’t follow their words. My head was buzzing. I felt so lost, the colours were just so intense and they were sweeping me away. I was falling into a tunnel of swirling light and it lit up every nerve with euphoria. The colours stop as suddenly as they began. I’m sitting in the car, in my seat. Mummy is smiling back at me, tickling my foot. “Ready for a play-date?” she asks. Playing… playing sounds fun. I like to play. I’m good at play. “Gonna pway?” I ask her. She smiled and gives my big toe a wiggle. “Yep, you’re gonna have a lovely time playing now I think.” Mummy wiggling my toe. I wonder what it tastes like. Jakey got hims toes in his mouth. I grab my footsie and pull it to my mouth and put the toe in. It’s nice. I like munchin’ it. Mummy gives big smiles and I know I done something good. “Yes, you loved your little light show didn’t you?” she says. I dunno what light show she means. Mummy is silly sometimes. ** Liz laughed heartily at Sandra’s joke. It was great having a group of friends with similar circumstances. The sounds of their special children playing in the yard wafted through the window. They sounded happy, that was the important thing. Bill bounced his little ginger girl on his knee while she chewed at her knuckles. She was the only little one there at the moment. It was actually nice to get some peace now and then she figured. Well she’d be finding out soon enough. Debbie appeared, toddling naked into the circle of real adults, boobies and pig-tails jiggling away. She was leading another young man by the hand, and he too was completely naked. It was Jeffy, letting the nude woman pull him along, sucking away at his thumb, his eyes totally empty. “Jeffy done poopies!” Debbie announced to them, interrupting the conversation. Jeffy gazed innocently about, his free hand toyed with his dangling penis. Then he caught Liz’s eye and the thumb popped free. “Dome boom-boom mummy,” he confirmed. Everyone had a chuckle at the accident the young man who’d once sat amongst them had had. “Do you think he remembers us?” Bill pondered aloud. Pat shrugged. “It’s hard to know what goes on in their little minds after the change. I don’t think he remember very much about us though, or he wouldn’t be so happy about telling us he’s done poos.” Liz got up and took Jeffy’s hand from Debbie. “Okay you little jaybird, show me where the boom-booms are so mummy can clean up.” Jeffy grinned, oblivious to the grown-ups talking about him. “Mummy cwean!” he chirped, pulling her along to show her the present he’d left. Oh well, she thought, it was just the price she had to pay for getting the family she’d always wanted. Obviously little Jeffy had had to pay a high price as well.

    Adjusting

    Here’s another tale from the Mental AR Virus universe. This one isn’t as dark as some of the others. 

    Ella frowned as she carefully undid the tangle of knots the laces of Eric’s sneaker had become.  Her husband stood there, waiting anxiously, fidgeting with his fingers, impatient.  He was always impatient now. That was another thing she just had to get used to.  

    “Huwwy up!” came his plaintive voice, so high-pitched and whiny.  

    “Hold your horses Eric, I’ll have it done in just a second,” she told him in the calmest voice she could muster.  It took a lot to maintain that tone, to be the grown-up when he was being so incredibly frustrating.  It wasn’t his fault, she had to remind herself, he couldn’t control himself anymore.  

    Finally she straightened the laces, then tied a proper knot.  

    “All done!” she happily announced. 

    Eric took his foot off her knee, admiring her work.  Both his sneakers were tied now and he finally seemed satisfied.  He couldn’t tie them himself of course. His fingers were far too clumsy, too uncoordinated. His fine motor skills were nothing but a distant memory.  

    “Got my soos on,” the thirty-four year old said with a hint of smile now.  

    Ella was just glad he wasn’t crying anymore. His cheeks were still red, his eyes bloodshot from all the tears.  He’d thrown a full-blown tantrum, yelling his head off, risking damaging her hearing; he’d been down on the floor, pounding his fists and heels into the carpet, all because Ella had told him he didn’t need to wear shoes for Story Time at the bookstore in the mall.  You’d have thought it was the end of the world, the way he reacted.  

    But Ella at least partly understood. It had to be frustrating, to be so helpless, to be at someone else’s mercy.  Ella had only suggested he simply go barefoot because his shoe-laces were such a mess and it would take so long to fix them.  She knew he wouldn’t like it. Eric was determined not to look like a little boy.  He wanted everyone to think he was still big.  Big boys didn’t go to the mall barefoot of course.  And it had to be awful not to be able to put on his own shoes, to simply ignore his wife’s suggestion. He couldn’t even put them on the right feet if left to his own devices, never mind tackling the laces.  

    “Okay then, let’s get going,” Ella said, taking Eric’s hand, leading him out the door to the car, waiting for him to climb in the back seat before taking his seat belt and buckling him in. Just one more laughably simple thing he was incapable of doing for himself.  

    “Ewic do dat,” he would complain, all the time, before making a mess of himself, or ending up in frustrated tears as he failed to buckle himself in, or to colour inside the lines, or to tell what time it was.  He’d insisted on wearing a watch for days in the beginning, even though he had no hope of reading it anymore.  

    It was finally peaceful as she drove them to the mall.  Eric sucked on his thumb and gazed curiously out the window, probably trying to remember the names and uses of all the grown-up things he’d forgotten.  

    Sometimes he gave a steady stream of questions.  “Was dat?” 

    “A bicycle sweetie,” Ella would answer. 

    “Why da man wide it?”  

    “It’s good for exercise and it’s fun.” 

    “Was ex-ser-size?”  

    And on it went.  

    But other days were like this one, a brief break from the chatter, from the simple questions.  That was a big part of why Ella brought him to Story Time and other similar shared activities for bigger little ones.  It was a chance for her to converse with fellow adults, to share stories and advice with caregivers like herself.  And of course Eric enjoyed it too, or at least he was willing to tolerate it.  

    Eric wasn’t a happy boy.  How could he be?  He’d been a successful man in his prime, a salesman with a promising career and a new house.  And then it was all taken away in a matter of days.  He had MEV Type 3a, and that meant the full regression had taken just four days after the onset of symptoms. Some people called that a blessing, but Ella disagreed. It meant she was thrown into a new life with little time to prepare. She had to rapidly toddler-proof their beautiful new home.  She had to take time off work until she’d been able to enroll him in a proper daycare.  But toughest of all was the transition from wife to mummy.  She hadn’t signed up for that of course.  They’d never had kids, though it was something she’d always wanted.  And now, essentially, that’s what she had.  Except she didn’t, because Eric wasn’t really a little boy, not like some of the others anyway.  

    The differences were obvious as soon as they walked into the bookstore.  Eric wore a simple blue striped t-shirt and khakis shorts.  He refused to have anything with cartoons on it, or even with words. He couldn’t read of course, couldn’t even sing his alphabet, but he understood the slogans on many kids clothes were jokes, were childish or cute.  He didn’t want that.  He let Ella hold his hand, he was very afraid of losing her, but he didn’t want anyone thinking he was being led by her, that he was little.  

    The other boys and girls there for Story Time weren’t nearly so concerned with appearances. A majority were barefoot, the dirt on the soles of their feet noticeable as they crouched on the carpeted floor or crept around it whilst playing with their toys.  Several boys and girls, in their twenties and thirties and even older, wore bib overalls or shortalls in a variety of colours.  One young man was in a Spiderman costume, a thirtyish woman in a Snow White outfit. One man about Eric’s age was shirtless as well, wearing just his baggy red board shorts.  

    And it wasn’t just their clothing, it was also their behaviour which was different.  They were mostly giggling, smiling, creeping around happily in their own little worlds, playing their simple games, enjoying their toys.  They didn’t seem at all aware of their regressions.  They seemed like real little kids, just in bigger bodies.  

    But there were always a few others like Eric. Some clung to their caregivers, soothing themselves by sucking their thumbs, biting their fingernails. They dressed like adults or at least older kids, cried often, buried their heads in mummies’ laps, whined about not wanting to be there, or just threw full tantrums and needed to be led away to the toilets, blubbering.  

    “Here we are sweetie, why don’t you sit right there, in the middle,” Ella suggested to her husband.  

    Eric shook his head. “Wanna sit wid you,” he insisted. 

    “Honey, the boys and girls all need to sit on the floor,” she told him. 

    “Notta boy,” Eric whispered back angrily. 

    “Honey we’ve been over this. You need to sit with the boys, even if you are bigger than them. That’s just the rules.”  

    Eric frowned but accepted this.  He was always a big rule follower and that impulse had stuck with him.  He sat down cross-legged in the middle of the crowd of grown-downs, sulking and hugging his knees while he waited for the story to begin, for the storyteller to come sit in the big easy chair at the centre of the clearing and read a children’s story to them all.  He ignored the other children around him and they paid the quiet boy no attention either.  

    Ella wished he would join in, would ask to play with another boy. It would be so good for him to have a playmate. She got the regular reports home from the playcentre he went to while she worked. They were concerned too. Eric didn’t mix with the other kids. He wouldn’t take part in any activity which would get him dirty or would require him to take off his shirt or shoes. He wouldn’t do anything he considered “silly” or “for babies.”  That meant no fingerpainting, no painting at all, no sandpit, no trampoline or paddle pool for him.  

    He’d been utterly scandalised by what happened when paddle pool time had come.  

    “Deys all nakey!” he told Ella in horror when she came to collect him that afternoon.  

    “What?” she’d asked him in confusion. 

    “Da boys ‘nd giwls got all nakey fow da pool.  Some nakey after too!”  

    Ella had found it funny, especially they way he was so horrified that a bunch of toddlers were stripped naked to play in a paddle pool, and even worse that some had apparently stayed naked afterwards, perhaps for the rest of the afternoon even.  Sure they had grown-up bodies, the playcentre was of course specifically for grown-downs, but they were really just toddlers.  And Ella saw nothing wrong with what happened.  

    When it came right down to it, she just wanted Eric to be happy, to have fun with the others. But he just couldn’t do it.  He was wound up so tight, she was afraid he might become truly depressed if this continued.  

    Story Time was about to begin when Natalie arrived with her hubby, Jerry.  Ella had begun to worry they wouldn’t make it. She especially liked chatting with Natalie because their husbands were so similar. They’d had the same strain of virus for one thing, but much more importantly, Jerry insisted on being a grown-up, being mature too.  He would point to himself and declare, “I match-ew-er! I gwown-up!” in the most serious tone.  It was all she could do not to laugh at the poor man.  He would have made a perfect playmate for Eric, except that neither of them had any interest in “playing” with other boys.  

    Except that today Jerry wasn’t looking too mature at all.  He was wearing a Batman costume, minus the mask and cape.  It was nothing like what he normally wore, bland polo shirts and khakis being his standard outfit.  Not only that, but the thirty-year old former physio was also barefoot.  Ella had never once seen him out in public that way.  Natalie had at least convinced him to wear sandals or crocs most days, to save the need to tie laces. But this was a first.  

    Natalie smiled broadly at her as they approached. “Can you say hello to Ella, Jerry?” she prompted her husband.  

    The six foot tall man in the Batman costume grinned like the very silliest of little boys and chirped, “Hi! Wookit, I Batman!”  

    The ear to ear grin on his face as he pointed at the symbol on the chest of his costume really took Ella by surprise. For a moment she just sat there with her mouth hanging open.  

    “Um, Ella…” Natalie prompted. 

    “Oh! Ummm, yes, that’s so cool Jerry,” she finally spat out.  

    “Not Jewwy. Batman!” he insisted, throwing his hands out and swooping around, like a bat apparently.  

    “Right, of course. Well, good to see you Batman,” Ella agreed. 

    “Okay honey, go swoop over to the other boys and girls and sit on your bum like a good Batman,” Natalie told him. 

    Jerry did as he was told, scurrying over to the assembled crowd of grown-downs and dropping to his knees, revealing bare soles as black as the pavement outside.  It didn’t look like they’d just forgotten his crocs in the car or something.  

    “He seems happy,” Ella commented as Natalie took a seat beside her. 

    “He’s more than happy, he’s finally at peace with who he is now,” she told her. 

    Ella nodded, shocked to hear this but also knowing it matched what she’d just witnessed.  “Yeah, he’s acting more like the other boys now,” she agreed.  

    Natalie nodded.  “He’s been in that Batman costume for the last two days solid. He’s totally obsessed with it, just like a little boy.”

    “It’s awfully cute.”

    Natalie shrugged. “Well I never really wanted by husband to look cute, y’know.”

    “Yeah, of course not.” 

    “But it’s a real relief. He’s got playmates now, kids his own mental age to play with.”

    Ella felt happy for Natalie.  She understood how important that was. But she also felt a bit sad, a bit jealous. She wanted those things for Eric too. He didn’t really feel like her husband anymore, as much as he insisted he was. No, he felt like her little boy, like a small child who needed her protection. 

    “That’s so great!” she told Natalie. “He looks like he’s really comfortable being little now. I see he’s even running around barefoot today.”  

    Natalie chuckled. “That’s not just today. The sandals, the crocs, they’re all in a box, packed away the basement. Look at those filthy little tootsies. He hasn’t had anything on them in a week.”

    Now Ella was really blown away.  “But he made such a big deal out of that! I mean, you know Eric’s the same way. He threw a massive tantrum just before we came over because I wanted him to try going barefoot, just for this little trip.  It was quite the meltdown. I wasn’t sure we’d be coming at all and as you can see I had to give in.  How on Earth could you convince Jerry to actually pack the shoes away for good?”

    “Oh Ella that’s awful about the tantrum. But don’t get too jealous, we still have plenty of those in our house too. Believe me, that’s just part of having a toddler.  Now we just get to have meltdowns for different reasons. Instead of fighting over not wearing shoes, Jerry flips out at having to wear anything other than his costume. And you can see that I have been giving in as well.”  

    Ella did feel a little better.  “Still, it’s an amazing change. What do you think prompted it? Was it sudden?”  

    Natalie gave her a knowing smile. “Oh honey, I know exactly what prompted it.  Jerry’s attitude change was no mistake. I took him to one of those therapists, the ones who help with adjustment.”  

    Ella’s eyes widened right away. She knew exactly what Natalie meant. She’d seen the ads, promising happier grown-down children, promising to help them behave like real kids.  They always started with some sad, depressed looking grown-down.  The man or woman would be throwing a tantrum, fighting with their carer, or just sitting in a corner and refusing to play with others.  Then, wave of the magic wand, and they were happy, giggling, playful kids.  It always seemed too good to be true.  And besides, it seemed wrong to try to cause such a drastic change. Weren’t they just taking away the last bits of adulthood the poor man or woman was trying to hold onto?  

    “So the therapist did this?” 

    Natalie nodded. “It was amazing, like night and day and all in a single session.”  

    “One session?!”  

    Her friend laughed again. “Yep, I know, I was just as amazed.”

    “So, did you talk about what you wanted done before it started?”

    “Yes, I had a long interview with the therapist first, explained all the issues we were having; the modesty, the insistence on adult clothing, the obsession with appearing mature.  We made a list of what needed to change, then he designed a programme and voila, Jerry was a new boy after just one session.  

    “I mean the other day I went to pick him up at playcentre and the carer told me they’d had an issue with him taking off his shorts AND his undies earlier on and refusing to put them back on.  He was running around with his doodle out for all to see!  Can you imagine my Jerry like that?”  

    Ella could only shake her head, struck dumb by the revelation.  

    “Exactly! But it was true. He’d turned into a total little exhibitionist.  He was still wearing just a t-shirt and undies when we found him in the sand pit and we had to have a talk with him about keeping his undies on.  They actually made a deal with him that he could go shirtless as much as he wanted as long as his undies stayed on, except for pool days.  And he jumped at that deal! My Jerry, the little nudist.” 

    Ella tried to imagine that happening with Eric, but it was just too outrageous to be possible.  He was far too modest for that. Wasn’t he?  She wondered.  But of course that didn’t matter. She couldn’t take him to a therapist. He would never agree. And how could she do that to him?  

    “I can give you his card,” Natalie told her, looking in her handbag.  

    “Oh, no, that’s okay…” 

    “He’s really good Ella, you have to see him,” she urged, finding the business card and pressing it into Ella’s hand. 

    “I just don’t think I could do that to Eric. He’d hate to be like that. I mean, he’d hate to be acting like a real little boy, everyone seeing him that way.”  

    “Ella, he’s not happy the way he is either.  I’m not telling you to hurt him, or even to be selfish. I told you, the tantrums still happen. It’s no easier on me. Do it for him, so he can relax, so he can be happy and have fun the way a little boy should.  He needs to feel comfortable running around barefoot in public, getting messy, dressing up like his favourite superhero, blowing bubbles in his milk, all that stuff,” Natalie told her.  

    Ella put the card into her own handbag and she thought long and hard about what Natalie said.  She looked down at the floor before them. Thirty men and women sat on their bottoms on the carpet, listening to the woman in the easy chair reading from Beatrix Potter.  Some weren’t paying attention, girls playing with their pigtails, boys picking their noses and studying their fingers.  But most were totally enthralled, bouncing on their bottoms, giggling with their hands clasped tight over their mouths.  There was Jerry, up on his knees, clapping his hands and beaming.  And in the middle of it all was Eric, nibbling on his fingernails, looking totally disinterested.  It made her really wonder if Natalie was right.  

    **

    Two days later Ella went to see the therapist Natalie recommended, a Dr Mitchell Davis.  Sitting in his office she felt very uncomfortable but he seemed to understand that.  

    “It’s not an easy choice to come here,” Dr Davis told her.  His voice was warm and calming. She could see how it would be easy to open up to him.  

    “I don’t want to change my husband. I mean, I love him, you understand,” she told him. 

    “Of course you do. But that love, it’s different now, isn’t it?” 

    It was like he could read her mind. He probably could have gotten away with being a fake fortune teller.  

    “He’s still my husband, but he isn’t.  I don’t want to go against his wishes.  I don’t want to trick him.” 

    “No one wants to trick the people they love. I’m certainly not going to ask you to do anything you feel uncomfortable with.” 

    Ella felt more at ease now.  He wasn’t what she had expected at all.  

    “You have to understand, the last thing he’d want is to be seen as an incompetent little boy, a toddler, by people he knows, by basically anyone in public.  It’s very important to him that he maintain that dignity.”  

    “But he isn’t an adult anymore. You understand that?”  

    “Well of course,” she assured. “I mean, I clean his sheets after he has accidents at night, I do his shoe-laces up for him, cut up his food so he can manage the rest with just his fork or spoon. I’m well aware of that.”  

    He nodded. “But does he understand that?” 

    Ella hesitated. “I… I think he does. Deep down.  But he can’t admit it to himself.”  

    “And trying to act like he’s an adult, pretending to be something he’s not, it’s hurting him, isn’t it? It’s making him deeply unhappy,” Dr Davis suggested. 

    A tear dripped down her cheek as she nodded.  It was true, it was hurting him.  

    “It’s okay, none of this is your fault,” Davis assured her, handing her a box of tissues.  

    Sniffling, she nodded and dabbed at her eyes. “I know, I know, it’s just hard.”  

    “Yes, it is.  And your husband’s had it especially hard.  It isn’t that rare you know, for virus sufferers to be like him, regressed intellectually, emotionally but retaining their old sense of self, holding on to many adult behaviours and beliefs.”  

    “Really?”  

    “Oh yes, it happens more than people think.  But you don’t see it that often, because we have very effective treatments now.  Obviously we can’t return your husband’s intellectual and emotional maturity, so I’m afraid the best treatment is to go the other way, regress the behaviours, the sense of self, back to a level to match their intellectual age”  

    “So you’ve done this many times then? And it’s painless?”  

    Davis nodded confidently.  “It’s totally effective and I’ve done it many, many times. You probably have no idea how many of the happy, giggly grown-downs you see running around have actually been to see me, or someone like me.  There isn’t proper research on it yet, but from my own experience I’d say 5% to 10% of virus sufferers are like your husband.”  

    Ella was happy to feel less alone.  But she still had reservations.  “I just… I don’t want him to be angry at me.  He goes berserk at even the suggestion of behaving or dressing in a toddler fashion like the others.”  

    Davis chuckled. “I’m sure he does. But after my treatment I assure you there will be no more of that. You just tell me his hang-ups and we’ll deal with each and every one of them.”  

    Ella explained the main issues they had, the fear of being alone, the lack of interest in normal toddler games and TV shows, the refusal to play with other grown toddlers and insistence on dressing like an adult.  Dr Davis listened carefully and took many notes.  

    Ella paused as she considered whether to tell him the next thing.  She was thinking about the tantrums he threw if she wanted him to try going barefoot, just on the rare occasion.  But then she remembered Jerry’s bare feet, how the soles were totally black.  If she told Dr Davis, would he make Eric like that? Was that even possible? Could Eric really end up wanting his shoes packed away, demanding to be barefoot all the time? She tried to picture her husband, her super formal, mature husband walking around with feet looking like Jerry’s.  It seemed absurd. But then a new thought struck her.  Is that what she wanted?  It would instantly mark him out as a grown-down, as a little boy. Other mums would spot her and her little one right away.  Maybe it would help get playmates for Eric and friends for her.  

    “He’s absolutely obsessed with keeping his shoes on.  He knows being barefoot in public is an instant sign of being little.  My friend Natalie, she told me she packed her husband… her boy’s shoes away after his treatment. But… I mean, I can’t imagine Eric being like that…”  

    Davis just smiled and said, “Well you might be surprised then.”  

    “Oh and…” she trailed off. She’d thought of one other thing, but there was no real need to say it. She didn’t want to push too far.

    “Yes?” Davis pushed. 

    “Oh, it’s probably not worth mentioning. I mean, I don’t know if this is something that needs specific treatment…”

    “There’s no harm in mentioning it,” he assured.  

    “Well, it’s just that the playcentre he goes to, they have this paddling pool. Sometimes they remind us to send them in togs, but other times they just fill it up and don’t bother.  Of course Eric doesn’t go in, he’s much, much too modest for that.  But of course, I can just make sure he always has togs…”

    Davis waved a dismissive hand.  “That shouldn’t be a necessity.  I imagine even when they are told, some of the carers don’t bother sending their little ones with swim togs, do they?” 

    “Well, no, I guess not. Umm,” she chuckled, “Eric actually commented on that fact. He was quite horrified by all the nudity and that, well, some little ones don’t even always get dressed afterwards.”  

    Davis nodded and asked, “So, would you like him comfortable without the togs.”  

    Ella blinked, uncertain whether to agree.  “I mean, Natalie said Jerry has actually turned into a little jaybird since his treatment.”  She imagined Eric, her handsome husband, strutting around the house in the buff.  Aside from cleaning up his accidents, wiping him clean while he cried, she’d not really seen him that way for months.  

    Davis was still waiting.  

    “I think it would be nice if he was comfortable without togs, so he could play in the paddle pool,” she agreed. 

    “Just for the pool?”

    “I mean, I don’t know,” she admitted, feeling very conflicting feelings for her husband and her little boy at the same time.  

    “I just mean, there are many times when modesty can make it tricky dealing with a big toddler.  It could simply be easier for him to remove it altogether.  Of course that would make it a bit tougher for you because your new struggle would be to keep him clothed.”  

    “Do you do that part of the treatment often?”  

    He nodded. “Quite a few feel it’s for the best. Not all, but plenty.”  

    “Okay, do it,” she agreed, feeling a little guilty even as she said it.  

    When they were done Davis emailed her a file.  “This is a special musical piece, suggestions masked by sea sounds. Play it all night for your husband but make sure you can’t hear it.  He should listen to it every night for the next week, leading up to his appointment.”  

    **

    For a week Ella played the special music for Eric every night.  It seemed to even help him to get to sleep faster.  They slept in different rooms now, since he had accidents so often and would rip up the thick pull-ups protection she got him, insisting on wearing his “big boy pants” to bed.  That made playing the file easier and Eric never questioned what it was or why it needed to play all night. 

    For a week she watched him navigate life as a sad, confused man with an intellectually impaired mind.  The more she watched him, the more sure she became that she was doing the right thing in helping him to be happier.  The only thing was she grew more and more worried that the treatment wouldn’t work.  It seemed to unlikely, that Eric could really become like the other grown-downs and start acting like an actual toddler.  

    Finally the day came for their appointment.  Ella drove him there, careful to pretend it was a normal doctor’s check-up.  She was extra careful with him, getting him dressed up especially nice in his best polo shirt and khakis shorts and of course his sneakers and socks.  

    “Da doctor gonna see how big I is,” Eric told her brightly as she buckled him in.  “Notta dumb baby.”  

    “Of course not honey,” she told him, kissing his forehead.  

    But he squirmed and shoved her roughly away.   “Dun do dat! Kiffes fow dumb widdle babies!”  

    “Sorry Eric,” she said, getting in the driver seat.  

    At the office Dr Davis did a good show of greeting Eric like an adult, walking right out of his office straight to Eric and extending his hand to shake.  Eric actually grinned for once as he shook the man’s hand like an equal.  

    “Well hello there Eric, so nice to meet you,” Davis said to him. 

    “Hi,” Eric replied simply, clearly trying to hide his juvenile diction from the doctor.  

    “Why don’t you come into my office and Ella will wait right out here for you.”  

    Eric’s smile vanished instantly.  “Dun wanna go awone,” he said.  

    “Ella will be right here and besides, she told me that you’re a really brave big grown-up man. So you must be able to do things all by yourself, right?”  

    Eric still didn’t look happy, but how could he refuse such praise?  He nodded jerkily and let the doctor lead him away, stealing nervous looks back at Ella until the door shut.  

    And that left her to an uncomfortably long wait.  What was going on back there? She had no idea.  She hoped it would help things, but could it possibly make things worse? What if it didn’t work, but Eric knew what they’d tried to do with him? He’d be so furious.  The last thing she wanted was to upset him more.  But the walls were thin. If he was angry she’d have heard the tantrum, the crying and screaming if not kicking and punching the floor.  There were no such sounds.  It was silent.  

    Two hours passed before the door opened.  Davis appeared in the doorframe and gave her a smile.  “Someone needs a cuddle from mummy,” he announced. 

    Ella’s heart fluttered as Davis stepped fully into the waiting room, leading Eric by the hand.  Her jaw dropped open at the sight.  Eric was completely naked, not even undies on to give him a shred of privacy. And he was making no attempt to cover up either.  He let the doctor lead him into the waiting room buck naked, no concern about who might be there to see him.  

    “Oh sweetie,” Ella cooed in awe.  

    Eric looked different, and not just in the way he was dressed, or rather not dressed.  His face just looked totally relaxed and he had this big dumb grin.  

    “Wanna cuddle wid mummy!” he announced brightly.  

    “Come on then Eric, give mummy a big snuggle!” she urged him.  

    And he let go of Davis’ hand, rushing over to her and enveloping her in a huge, tight cuddle.  Ella was so happy to see her baby boy happy.  She’d never felt more maternal, more protective of her boy. He’d been the one getting treatment, but she felt changed too. This wasn’t her husband anymore, this was her little baby.  

    “Who’s my snuggle bug? Who’s my little cuddle buggy?” she cooed to him, the way she’d always imagines cuddling her first baby.  He was much bigger, and yet, all naked like this he looked just as vulnerable, just as innocent and cute.  

    Eric just giggled and snuggled tighter.  

    After what felt like a full minute of cuddling Ella let go and looked into Eric’s eyes, looking for any remaining reluctance, any flicker of modesty or sadness.  He just gazed back with wide, glassy eyes, totally innocent.  

    “What happened to all your clothes, silly boy?” she asked him. 

    Eric looked down at his nude body, his soft hairless penis resting between his legs.  There was no hesitation, no blush in his cheeks as he said, “Ewic got nakey!”  

    “Haha, I can see that,” she agreed, and he smiled and laughed happily too, totally unconcerned with his exposure. 

    Dr Davis stepped closer, placing a hand on the middle of Eric’s bare back.  “We decided he’d be more comfy in some more appropriate clothes and I started to get him changed. But once he was all nakey-bummed he decided he didn’t want any clothes on at all and became quite insistent about that. So I thought maybe he’d be better if mummy helped get him dressed.”  

    Ella couldn’t help but smile.  “Is that so?  Are you turning into a little jaybird nudist? Is that what you are now Eric?”  

    The thirty-something man giggled brightly and gave her a big, emphatic nod. 

    “Well, we’ll see what we can do about that.  But right now, we need to get you dressed to go home. You can’t walk out into the car park with a bare bum-bum, silly boy.”  

    Eric nodded. “Can’t go bawe-bum,” he agreed.  

    “That’s right, so let’s get you dressed, okay?” 

    Another nod.  “Kay.”  

    Eric was perfectly compliant as Ella dressed him in the clothes Dr Davis had asked her to bring.  There was a pair of aqua board shorts with black pockets and Sesame Street themed blue t-shirt.  But first came a pair of thick, white underoos with royal blue piping and choo-choo train prints.  Eric was nice and still while Ella slipped those and his shorts up his legs. But he pouted and fussed when she asked him to put his arms up for the t-shirt.  

    “Eric, be a good boy for Mummy now,” she urged him.  

    “Dun wan’ it,” he complained.  

    “Why not honey? Don’t you like Elmo?” she asked, pointing to the smiling red character.  

    Eric gazed at it with the innocent eyes of a toddler, nodding.  

    “Don’t you want Elmo on your tummy?”  

    Another slow nod.  

    “Okay then,” she cooed, getting him to raise his hands and putting on the cartoon print shirt.  

    “All done!” she announced and Eric clapped his hands. “You got all dressed for Mummy! Aren’t you a good boy!”  Yes, Eric was clearly happy to hear that.  

    There weren’t any shoes as part of the outfit, but Eric didn’t say a word about that, not a peep as Ella took his hand and led him out of the office, thanking Dr Davis, heading out into the car park.  Eric just sucked on his thumb and let Mummy lead him across the pavement that way.  

    “Your feeties aren’t too hot on that pavement, are they Eric?” she asked.  

    He wiggled his toes gently against the ground, then shook his head.  No, he didn’t seem to mind one little bit.  

    **

    Two weeks later Ella pulled up to the playcentre to pick Eric up.  The head teacher, Greta, met her when she walked in, needing to buzz her through the door as always. With such big toddlers it was necessary to have a system to keep them getting out and wandering out into the street of course.  

    “Good to see you Ella,” she greeted.  

    “Hi Greta, how’s he been today?” 

    “Oh just lovely as usual. It’s been wonderful having him so much more social and playful.  He and Brady have been really becoming fast friends.  They build quite the block fort together this morning.”  

    “Yes, I talked to his carer the other day and we’re going to have him over for an actual playdate this weekend,” Ella couldn’t help but gush.  “It’s just, such a relief to have him playing with boys his own age.”  

    “I know, it’s a real blessing.  Well, let’s go get the big little guy.”  

    The playroom was a hive of activity as usual. She was early today so most of the kids were still there, playing with lots of balls and blocks and Duplo blocks.  She spotted Eric easily. There were only two young men walking around naked.  One had ginger hair, the other dark haired fellow was Eric of course.  He was playing with a blonde man, Brady, holding hands and sort of half dancing, half play-fighting.  There was a lot of giggling involved, so it was clearly fun.  

    “Oh, we had the paddle pool out after lunch. As you can see Eric didn’t want to get his clothes back on afterwards, as usual,” Greta noted without any real concern.  

    Ella wasn’t surprised or worried either. She understood this was the result of what she’d asked for and if it didn’t bother the teachers, it didn’t bother her either.  

    “Okay Eric, time to get dressed and head home baby,” she said, putting her hand on his bare bottom to gently get his attention.  

    Eric gave her a gaping smile. “C’n Bwady come home wid us?” he asked. “We pwayin’ mummy. Bwady my betht fwiend!”  

    Ella’s heart absolutely melted.  “Oh honey, that’s so nice. Brady needs to eat at his house tonight, but I promise he can come over to play Saturday. Do you know how many days that is sweetie?”  

    Eric shook his head, totally mystified.  

    “Well today is Thursday, so that’s…” 

    Eric blinked his eyes, but couldn’t answer the question.  

    “Two days baby.”  

    He grinned, untroubled by his lack of knowledge now. Two weeks ago not knowing the answer would have had him in tears. Now he totally accepted his lack of comprehension.  It was normal. Grown-ups were smart, grown-ups did the thinking. Toddlers just had to play and have fun. It was so much better to be a toddler.  

    Back wearing his thick undies and his shorts, Eric left the playcentre with Mummy. There was no need for a shirt or shoes. Ella carried his shirt with his little bag, and there weren’t any shoes for him to wear.  His feet were just as dirty and tough as Jerry’s now.  And while Ella had been uncertain at first, now she was sure that was the right choice.  Eric didn’t know there had been a choice to make. He just enjoyed the freedom of the sun on his back, the warm interesting textures of the ground changing under his soles as he skipped and walked along the footpath to their car.  He was just overjoyed to have Mummy taking care of him.  It was obvious that Mummy knew best and that made both Eric and Ella as happy as they’d ever been.  

    Jealous

    I leaned into Jack’s office, smiling as I saw that he was still sitting at the desk. He had built this company pretty much single handedly. It was a start-up he created while still at uni.  He’d run it out of his tiny student flat at the beginning, just him and his laptop.  He’d done well enough to get his parents and some of their friends to invest after he graduated and from there things really kicked off.  

    By the age of twenty-five Jack had his own office, had bought a house and had fully paid back all his initial investors.  He had a staff of ten, and I was one of them.  He’d brought me in straight from uni myself.  I had no experience but that didn’t bother Jack, not one bit.  He’d started with no experience after all.  I appreciated the chance to prove myself and I worked hard for him.  Jack had given everyone here a chance and we owed him so much.  

    When he came down with the virus we wondered how on Earth we would be able to go forward without him at the helm.  Luckily his number two, Martin, had stepped up and kept the company on track. I won’t lie, it was touch and go for a bit and I honestly considered putting out my CV to some of the competitors.  But we made it through in the end and I’m glad I stayed. It’s more than just a job. We’re kind of like a family, having been through so much together.  

    So it was natural that Jack continued to be a part of our lives.  Today his girlfriend, Alissa, brought him into the office for a visit.  Naturally he went straight to his old office and Martin was nice enough to work out of a desk on the main floor while Jack took over his old space.  

    I looked at the twenty-nine year old sitting in his swivel chair, busy with his “work” on his desk. Jack was never a shirt and tie kind of guy, that didn’t really fit the tech industry expectation. But he always dressed smart casual and as the company did well his wardrobe got more expensive. He always had a flashy watch, fashionable shoes or sneakers at least.  Now he was sitting there in a light blue singlet with Looney Tunes characters Daffy and Bugs Bunny adorning the front.  He had matching blue athletic shorts and the most surprising thing to me was that Alissa had brought him to the office barefoot.  Now, sitting in the big chair, I could see the soles of his feet were dark and tough looking, like this was his normal state.  Jack was scribbling studiously with a red crayon, filling in a colouring book.  A dozen other crayons were spilled across the desk, a few toy cars abandoned on the carpeted floor.   

    I looked at my former boss, totally absorbed in a child’s colouring book and I felt an overwhelming sense of... jealousy.  It was hard enough being an Adult Baby before all of this. I’d had to hide my true desires, pretend to be like everyone else. Even my long time girlfriend, Melissa, had no idea that I harboured these weird, secret desires.  I got my fill of the scene online, chatting with others who were like me, checking out their photos but of course never posting any of my own.  I couldn’t take that risk. Back then it was those others who I was jealous of, those men and women brave enough to share images of themselves in diapers, in toddler and baby clothing, sucking their thumbs, playing with their toes, jerking off into their soft, cushy diapies.  

    The virus had changed everything.  All around me people were suddenly living out my fantasy, the dream I had nurtured since I was probably about six years old myself.  I suddenly saw grown men and women wandering around in diapers not just online, but at the supermarket, in the mall, toddling along the street.  And there were more and more of them. I’d pass a whole line of them holding rings on a rope, being led on a walk from a daycare.  The playground of the primary school I passed on the way to work each morning suddenly had six foot tall students mixed in with the little kids, playing like their equals.  Mall toilets got permanent, huge changing stations, just like I’d imagined years ago, and sometimes you’d enter the toilets and hear them being used, the giggles of a grown baby man or woman, the cooing of their caregiver.  

    All of that happened, but not to me.  I took no precautions, not that any were known to work anyway.  But in the time since the virus hit, I was still 100% mentally adult.  How unfair was that?  It was painful for me, to see these people living out my fantasy.  Online others complained about the same thing. But at least some of them had suddenly stopped posting and I knew they’d probably got their wish.  

    I looked back down at Jack’s bare toes wiggling in the carpet.  I wanted so desperately to be barefoot like him, to be walking around the office like that. And the soles of his feet were just like I wanted mine.  Not because I had a foot fetish or because I really liked the feeling of being barefoot.  No, but because of what it meant.  Before the virus we’d already had a barefoot culture. Some adults normally walked around barefoot pretty much everywhere.  But it was always a tradition strongly tied to childhood. Kids were basically expected to be barefoot.  

    But after the virus that tie to childhood became an important way to indicate the person was mentally a child. It became much less acceptable for adults to walk around that way, lest they be mistaken for children.  And for the grown-downs, it became almost obligatory.  I wanted bare feet like Jack’s because when people saw them they just knew instantly that you were little, that you were just a child. And what’s more they meant you’d lost your adult concerns, that you didn’t mind people seeing you as a little boy or girl.  And now Jack had that, he was one of those grown-downs I so envied.  

    “Hey there Jack, you making us some artwork?” I asked him brightly, using the tone I reserved for little kids. 

    Jack looked up from his colouring and nodded seriously.  “I’m gettin’ gooder at stayin’ in the lines, see!” he announced, holding it up to show me the monkey sketch he was colouring in.  

    “Oh yeah, you’re doing a really good job buddy,” I assured him. 

    “I’m a good cowourer. Mummy says so,” he told me.  

    “You sure are.  Do you like being back in your old office?” I asked him. 

    “I was in charge,” he told me, nodding.  “I runned everything.”  

    “You sure did,” I agreed with a chuckle.  

    “I want juithe!” he suddenly announced.  

    “Well, I’ll see if we have any.” 

    “Apple! Or gwape,” he ordered.  

    “Guess you’re still in charge after all,” I noted quietly, leaving him to resume his colouring.  

    **

    To the other employees Jack was to be pitied. They saw a man sadly reduced to colouring with crayons instead of working up complex plans for the business.  They saw him padding around the office in bare feet and a cartoon print singlet and shook their heads sadly.  But I saw the smile on his face, the innocence and simplicity in his eyes.  He looked comfortable in his new outfit, so what did it matter if it was less dignified?  

    After work I headed over to Sunny Days Daycare centre to pick Liam up.  Taking care of him was at once one of the highlights of my life and the greatest source of pain.  Liam was Melissa’s older brother.  He was thirty now and had previously lived overseas in the UK, working for a bank.  I don’t know what he did exactly, and he wasn’t going to be able to describe his work now anyways.  He’d had the virus late last year. He wasn’t in a relationship and since he wasn’t a UK citizen, they sent him home.  His parents were too old to take proper care of such a big child, so Melissa agreed to take him in, raise him again.  

    Liam’s regression had been swift, he’d returned home already fully regressed.  I’d only met him once before, when he came home for a Christmas visit three years ago.  I remembered him as a well-dressed, intelligent guy who was perhaps a tad arrogant in fact.  He came home a six-foot tall two year old.  He was the embodiment of my dreams and I was living with him, caring for him. 

    Sunny Days was a chain of care centres, split into locations for physical children and for adult toddlers and preschoolers.  So the centre Liam was in was dedicated to people like him, grown-ups with a mental age between 2 and 5 years.  His group, Little Lambs, was the youngest ones, the two year old.  The woman who ran the centre, Louise, was a kindly older lady with silver hair and a perpetual welcoming smile.  As always she was by the door when I arrived.  

    “Oh hello Brad, lovely to see you again. Having a good day?” she greeted. 

    “Yes, thank you Louise. And has Liam been good for you today?” 

    “Oh yes, he’s always wonderful.” 

    “I know he can be cheeky at times.” 

    “Cheeky is what little boys are meant to be. He’s no trouble at all.  We went for a little nature walk earlier and he very much enjoyed seeing some birds.”  

    “He really does love birds,” I agreed.  

    She nodded. “Well, come in. They’re just finishing up some finger painting.”  

    I followed Louise into the Little Lambs room, finding the ten men and women there all standing around a table in the middle of the room.  Big pieces of canvas paper were spread across it along with trays of varying coloured paints.  Several of the young men and women wore dirty, paint smudged smocks over their clothes to protect them. But four of the big toddlers were completely naked and my heart did a flutter when I saw that Liam was one of them.  

    I tried my best not to appear to be leering at the two bare breasted women. Of course they didn’t mind, they were smiling innocently, smacking their palms in the purple and red paint trays and smearing it first on the canvas and then on their own bare boobs and tummies, giggling away at their silly fun.  It was Louise and Marge, the teacher in charge of the Little Lambs, who I didn’t want to get the wrong idea about me. 

    I focused instead on Liam, on his bare body.  His bottom was a bit dirty actually, not with paint, but with what appeared to be dried dirt.  But he’d gotten plenty of paint on himself as well. It was on his tummy, and his arms and yes smeared across his chin and cheeks too.  

    “Don’t worry, it’s all water-based paint, it will come out in a simple bath,” Marge assured when she saw me staring.  

    “Oh, that’s fine,” I assured her. “I’m not worried.  Just noticing there weren’t quite enough smocks I guess.”  

    “Oh no, we have plenty of those. But some of the children prefer to be in their birthday suits for painting. They like to paint their bodies too. And we let them explore. It’s developmentally appropriate,” Louise assured. 

    “Oh, of course. I was only joking, I’ve got no problem with it,” I told her.  

    I definitely didn’t have a problem with it. On the contrary, I was hard as could be in my pants, just hoping the bulge wouldn’t be obvious.  It was so exciting, and yet again it was tempered with jealousy.  

    “I guess Liam was pretty happy not to need a smock. I know how he can be.”  

    Louise added, “Well actually Liam was already out of his clothes earlier. He wanted to do the nature walk au naturel you see.  And since it was just out the back and very private, I decided it would be okay.  But if that’s an issue for you…” 

    “As long as he’s comfy I’m perfectly fine with that,” I told her.  

    “Lovely. It’s really all about their comfort. Many little ones just completely lose their modesty and personally I think it’s adorable,” she said. 

    I couldn’t have agreed more.  Just picturing Liam walking around the woods with his doodle bouncing free was making me want to get my own doodle out.  

    I put my hand on Liam’s bare back.  “Hey buddy, you having fun?” I asked him. 

    The young man gave me a lovely innocent smile. I loved seeing his relaxed, childish expression.  

    “Makin’ pitchas,” he told me, rubbing his paint-covered hands on the canvas, then reaching down and gripping his soft, dangling penis with one hand.  The paint was slick and lubricating and as he began to stroke it only took seconds for the flaccid doodle to stand up at attention.  Liam’s breathing quickened and I saw the pleasure in his eyes. But we were still in public so I chided him, “Not here Liam. Leave your silly doodle alone buddy,” and gave his wrist a light slap.  

    He let go of his pee-pee, though it was now fully painted deep green.  

    “Happy doodle,” he tried to explain to me.  

    “I know buddy, it’s very happy,” I agreed, looking down at what was an impressive erection.  “You got your doodle all covered in paint!” 

    Liam grinned and declared, “Awll icky ‘nd methy!”  

    “We’ll have to give you a really good bath tonight.”  

    “Wid bubbahs?” he asked hopefully. 

    “Well we’ll have to see,” I told him.  

    We found his clothes in his cubby and he stood still for at least a moment while I slipped the underoos, white with blue piping and decorated with Minions, up his legs.  Getting Liam to be still was quite a challenge these days. He was continuously squirming, fidgeting, filled with curiosity and energy.  Next came his shorts, simply blue boardies with no pockets. He had nothing to cary of course, no wallet, no keys. 

    Once the shorts were snugly on I stuffed the remaining t-shirt into my own bag. Liam was often shirtless when I arrived and I never bothered putting it back on him. Really the t-shirt was just for the morning, for making sure Melissa and Louise didn’t think I was a bad parent.  

    “All dressed. Thank you for being a good boy and staying still,” I told Liam.  

    “Good boy fow da-dee,” Liam answered.  

    I loved being called Daddy.  I opened my arms wide and Liam instantly responded by throwing his arms around me and giving me a cuddle.  I don’t know if there was anything I enjoyed more than having a cuddle with Liam.  He was just so loving, so unguarded with his affection.  He squeezed so tight, gave his everything.  I rubbed my hands along his bare back, cooed to him, “There’s my cuddle-bug.”  

    “Notta buggy! Wiam boy!” he replied with a cheerful giggle, knowing it was just a game.  

    “Oh of course,” I played along, pulling slightly back from our cuddle, but still with my arms around him, looking him over as if to check he wasn’t really a bug.  “Yes, yes, definitely a little boy, not a bug. No bug is this cute,” I told him. 

    Liam chortled and squirmed in my arms. He loved when I played these silly games with him.  I stroked my hand through his soft hair and planted a kiss on his forehead.  Then it was time to go.  Liam waved his bye-byes to his classmates, and Marge and Louise, then off we went.  It was mid-afternoon and the sun was baking down on the pavement of the footpath.  Holding his hand tightly, I watched Liam padding along beside me, his bare feet smacking along the pavement without any hesitation.  

    “Your feeties okay buddy? It isn’t too hot for bare feets?” I checked. 

    Liam shook his head. “Got widdle boy feets, Daddy!” he announced, stopping and doing a single big hop to show me.  

    At the beginning when Liam came to live with us Melissa had agreed that her brother should be barefoot as much as possible, but his feet were soft of course. So we had made it a game for him, made it fun, encouraging him to get “Little Boy Feet” that were tough and dirty and nothing like weak grown-ups or clean girls.  We encouraged him to run on gravel, climb trees, anything that got his feet more callused.  There were some tears, some ouchies at first but now Liam never, ever wore shoes, not on rainy winter mornings and not now on hot summer days with scorching pavement.  

    “Okay, okay, I know buddy. Daddy just wanted to make sure.”  

    Liam hopped again, just to prove his point, then grabbed his foot, balancing on the other with the held of my supporting hand, showing my the sole of the one in his hand. “Lookit Daddy!” he urged.  

    I nodded. “Yes Liam, you have the very toughest and ickiest of little boy feet that I’ve ever seen.”  

    “You gots soft feet!” he told me, letting his foot go. “Gotta wear soos.  Wiam no soos!”  

    I was more jealous than ever as Liam skipped along beside me.  I was a grown-up, and he was just the very happiest, the cutest little boy.  

    **

    Back at home I gave Liam his promised bubble bath.  He played with his action figures and some floating blocks while I did all the work of scrubbing his body clean.  I even did the best I could on the soles of his feet.  He giggled his head off naturally as they were very ticklish.  I got the top layer of dirt off, but the rest seemed permanently ingrained now.  But at least the paint was easier to remove. At the end I took a gentle washcloth to Liam’s penis, carefully rubbing the green paint away. Slowly his penis began to lengthen and jerk upwards in the warm, sudsy water.  Liam slopped splashing his toy in the water and began to look down at my cleaning.  After a moment he leant forward and whispered, “Daddy, I need stickies.”  

    I stopped rubbing his doodle and gave his wet cheek a pat.  “I know buddy, but that needs to wait for now. You play with your toys.”  

    Liam pouted but said, “Kay,” and went back to splashing while I finished the cleaning.  

    Finally the water was getting cool and the paint was mostly off so I pulled the plug and helped my boy into a big thirsty towel.  We got him all dried off and he was again smooth and clean and innocent looking.  We’d had the procedure to remove all his body hair done, so he looked more appropriate.  

    “I don’t think we need any more clothes for today, do we?” I asked him once he was dry. 

    Liam shook his head instantly. I always asked him that question, even though we both knew the answer was always the same. Liam absolutely loved being nude.  He’d stay nakey until bed time.  Melissa had been hesitant about it early on. But she soon agreed with me that he was in a better mood, easier to deal with and less likely to create a pile of laundry that way.  Of course for me, I just loved seeing him running around the house with that big bare bottom, seeing his doodle bouncing around when he played.  

    Liam threw his arms around me then for another impromptu cuddle.  The only thing better than a Liam cuddle, was a naked Liam cuddle.  I snuggled him right back and shivered with delight when he said, “Love you da-dee,” totally unprompted.  

    “Aww, I love you more than anything in the world buddy,” I told him, giving his smooth bare bum-bum a pat and then pecking a kiss on his cheek.  

    **

    Melissa was late coming home from work.  It wasn’t that unusual, she had a demanding job.  I couldn’t really complain, seeing as she made a lot more than I did.  We only had this place because of her income.  Don’t get me wrong, she was no workaholic, but she took her career seriously and put in the hours she needed to stand out and get promoted.  

    “Sorry babe,” she said, dropping her bag on the floor and coming in for a hug as I prepared dinner.  

    “Hey, you made it before I could get dinner on the table. I think that’s a win,” I told her, cuddling her as close as I could with a spoon and a salt shaker in my hands.  

    “Where’s the kiddo?” she asked when I returned to stirring the soup.  

    “I have no idea. He’s completely disappeared,” I told her, while silently pointing the spoon over to the kitchen table.  There it was easy to see the pair of adult bare feet just sticking out from under a chair.  

    Melissa nodded and smiled.  “Well I hope he shows up before dinner is ready, or I’ll just have to eat his portion too,” she announced.  

    The chair jerked sharply backwards and out came Liam, down on his hands and knees, giggling as he announced, “I hewe Mummy!” 

    Melissa had found it really awkward to have her brother refer to her that way at first, but it had become second nature now.  

    “Oh my! And I was looking forward to eating all that yummy food,” she declared. 

    “No! Daz mine Mummy!” the grown toddler insisted, dropping to his bottom on the floor, soles of his feet pressed together.  

    “Okay, okay. I know you need all your food so you can be so big and strong,” she agreed. 

    Liam nodded and said, “Wiam widdle, but Wiam big!”  

    Melissa indulged him of course. She was a really good Mum in fact, much better than she thought she was going to be back at the start.  She made sure Liam ate all his food that night, even the “icky” broccoli he hated.  She cut the stalks into little broccoli men and paired them with tasty cheese.  Watching her sit next to him patting his bare back so gently, running her hand through his hair and cooing such gentle encouragement to him I was again overwhelmed with jealousy.  

    Sure, Melissa was my partner, she went to bed with me, did all sorts of things with me that of course she’d never do with Liam.  But the love she had for him was different. I wanted that so, so badly.  I watched her clean his face and hands with some baby wipes after he finished eating. He was a messy eater of course, and mostly tried to eat with his fingers rather than the utensils.  Later she would help him brush his teeth before bed, help him step into his night-time pull-ups, tuck him into bed and then lie down next to him and read him a story.  We alternated nights for that role. I enjoyed doing it of course, but I loved watching Melissa put our little guy to nighty-nights.  She did silly voices for the characters, let him turn the pages so he felt involved, gave him a huge cuddle and a kiss on the forehead when it was time to turn off the lights.  

    Afterwards we sat in bed together. There was no bedtime ritual for me of course. We looked at our phones, or watched some late-night comedy TV most nights.  At least twice a week we had sex.  It wasn’t as passionate as when we first began dating of course, but it was still pretty good.  But honestly, I wanted to be tucked into bed by her far more.  

    **

    The next morning Melissa got up early and headed off for a bike ride and lunch with a group of her friends.  That meant I was watching Liam until the afternoon, then she’d be home and I’d have free time to play poker at Craig’s place in the evening.  The only problem with that was that I was meant to be buying a gift for the birthday party we were attending the next day, so I would have to take Liam with me to the mall.  

    It wasn’t that easy to shop with a toddler, especially not a six-foot tall one who could easily run off into a crowd or break things while innocently exploring or trying to play impromptu hide and seek in an expensive store.  Of course Liam absolutely loved the mall. It was a feast for his senses.  It wasn’t ordinary or mundane like it was for me. There were even rides for him, with flashing lights and noises and he could pretend to be driving just like he did when he was big.  

    So I had to keep him on a short leash. And I mean that very literally.  I’d always shaken my head at those parents who put their little kids on leashes like they were puppies.  But now I had at least some sympathy for them. But honestly I don’t know if I’d use them on a real toddler, a physical one that is.  But for an adult tot like Liam, there was just no other option.  I had felt so guilty the first time I fitted the child harness around his arms, buckled it over his chest.  But he’d been oblivious to the humiliation of wearing such a device. He didn’t mind being put in it anymore than he minded Daddy choosing his shirt for him and putting it on him.  

    I always chose cute shirts for my little guy anyway.  Today it announced that he was “Daddy’s Best Helper!” The green t-shirt was paired with some baggy board shorts over his pull-ups.  I kept a tight hold on his leash and held him back as the poor little guy got distracted by the shiny colours in some of the shops and tried to wander off to see them up close, to feel the things, probably to jam them in his mouth and taste them.  

    But generally he was okay for me.  He behaved in return for a ride in a little toy rocket ship.  As the simple thing moved slowly back and forth and made blast off noises Liam gripped the steering wheel intensely, grinning ear to ear like it was a real rocket he was piloting.  At the end of the shopping I took him over to the adult children’s play area next to the food-court, so he could have some fun.  I unbuckled the leash from his harness and let him run free, within the confines of the play area.  

    All around me other regressed adults played, climbing the multi-coloured structure, teetering on see-saws, screeching down a tiny little slide.  But even as I was meant to be watching Liam, I noticed another man in the play area, a man I knew instantly.  

    Mike was one of the very few people from the AB world who I had actually met in person.  We had three playdates in fact, back before the virus hit, before things got crazy for me.  We had stayed in touch through a messaging app for a bit, but I’d lost touch with him a year ago.  And now there he was, playing in the children’s area.  Mike had always wanted to be a toddler, a diaper-wearing, barely walking little tyke.  We had taken turns being the big brother or Daddy when we played and so I knew a lot of what he most enjoyed.  So it was surprising to see how he was now.  

    Mike was wearing a bright yellow t-shirt, partially obscured by the bib which was fixed around his neck, covering the front of the shirt.  Below that he wore a diaper and nothing else.  There were no pants, no shorts to give him any privacy, to leave any doubt that he was a complete diaper-wetting baby.  His legs and feet were smooth and hairless and bare.  His diaper was thick and covered in balloon designs.  It was unmistakably a diaper and not a pull-up.  

    My instant thought was that he was faking his regression.  I mean, it had to be, didn’t it?  What were the chances he got the type of virus that made him exactly his dream age?  I mean I certainly couldn’t blame him.  I had thought about it myself.  It would be the ultimate thrill.  But the fear of screwing up, of getting caught, scared the hell out of me.  Would I really be able to act consistently and convincingly enough to get away with it?  Those fears had always stopped me.  But evidently they hadn’t been enough to stop Mike.  

    I wondered if he was here alone or if someone else was in on it, playing his caretaker.  There was really only one way to find out and I had to know.  Mike wasn’t inside the main play structure, it was too advanced for a little one like him.  He was instead standing before a giant noughts and crosses board, one where the x’s and o’s could be chosen by spinning the tiles.  But he wasn’t playing any organised game. No he was just standing there, legs wide apart, forced that way by the thick diaper, smacking at the tiles, making them spin over and over. He had a slack, vacant expression on his face, his mouth agape, chin shining with drool as it dribbled unheeded onto the quite wet bib over his chest.  Every so often he gave an open-mouthed grin and giggled cheerfully.  

    Standing right behind him I whispered, “Hi there Mikey,” using his preferred baby name.  

    Hearing his name, he twisted around, looking at me with these glazed over eyes.  

    “You remember me don’t you?” I said to him.  “It’s Brad, Baby Brad,” I whispered.  

    Mikey didn’t show any sign of recognition.  His hand smacked at the tiles again, spinning two at random.  “Ba! Ahhhoooh!” he babbled at me.  

    I had played with Mikey in his baby state multiple times, but I’d never seen him act like this.  I mean when he played baby before it was pretty clearly an act. Sure he did his best, but he broke character too often and he didn’t even attempt to babble or anything like that. He just stayed silent rather than attempt baby talk.  This, this looked totally different.  His eyes were just so vacant looking, his whole expression was moronic.  

    “Mikey, are you pretending to be regressed?” I whispered to him. “It’s okay, I’m not going to tell on you or anything,” I assured.  

    He gave no inkling of comprehension. Instead his fingers slipped into his mouth and he sucked on them, drooling even more and babbling, “Eeehdoohdaaaa,” around them.  

    “Is everything okay?”  

    The voice took me off guard, so close behind me, so sharp.  I turned around to find a suspicious looking woman behind me. How much of my conversation with Mike had she heard? 

    “Oh, yes, I’m sorry but I just recognise Mike,” I told her.  

    Her expression softened right away.  “Oh, did you know him?”  

    “Yes, I mean, I knew him before he, uh…” 

    “Before he became a little baby boy again,” she finished for me.  

    I blushed. “Yeah.”  

    “Well I’m afraid Mikey won’t be doing any catching up with you. Poor little darling has the mind of a one year old now, as you can probably see.”  

    “I do… it’s just…” I trailed off. Was I really going to tell her about my darkest secrets? Did I need to know for sure that badly?  Everything told me to stop, but the need to know was too great.  

    “Are you his caretaker then?” I asked her when she looked thoroughly confused by my stuttering.  

    “Oh yes, I’m Jenna and yeah, I’m his Mummy now,” she answered. 

    “And, um, did you know him well before?”  

    She chuckled. “Well I was his girlfriend for a year, so I certainly hope so.”  

    She was his girlfriend, but did she know of his secret desires? Some guys were open about it. Others, like me, kept it deeply hidden.  

    “I knew Mike from some websites we both frequented actually. They were sort of, um, special interest sites, about, um, do you know what ABDL means?” 

    My heart was in my throat as I spoke the acronym.  If she said no, if she looked confused, I’d have to come up with some alternative name. What else could ABDL stand for? The options were racing through my mind.  

    But it wasn’t confusion on her face, it was recognition.  

    “Oh. You mean, you enjoyed those sites too?” she asked. 

    Now I was really on thin ice. Did she mean, oh are you a dirty perv like my ex over here was?  Or did she understand him? Was she accepting of it?  If I admitted it I’d find out soon enough which it was.  But that was a huge risk.  Was it worth it?  

    “I, um, well, yeah, I guess I did,” I whispered.  

    “Were you a Daddy or a baby?” she asked me directly, also whispering now.  

    She knew what the sites were about.  She knew and she wasn’t sounding disgusted, she sounded interested!

    “I was a baby,” I admitted, feeling so, so strange telling someone that in person, telling a stranger I’d only just met.  

    She smiled, and not in a cruel way.  “Then you must be in your element here,” she suggested. 

    I laughed nervously. “Well yeah, but I’m not really getting to enjoy it properly like Mikey.  He puts on a hell of an act,” I said, noticing he still hadn’t broken character at all.  He was now chewing, gnawing at the dirty plastic corner of one of the spinning tiles, ignoring our conversation.  

    But Jenna shook her head.  “Oh no, it’s not an act.  Mikey’s a little baby boy now, for real.” 

    My eyes had to have gone wide as saucers.  “Really? He got the virus, the exact type he would have wanted?” I asked, incredulous.  

    Jenna glanced around worriedly.  “It’s not that simple.  Look I’d love to tell you more, but this isn’t the place to do it.  Could you meet me somewhere tomorrow morning if I give you directions?”  

    “Well, I have a busy day tomorrow. How early?”  

    “Say ten? I’m sorry but it really would have to be then,” she answered. 

    “I… yeah, I’ll be there. But you need to tell me where to go.”  

    “Give me your e-mail and I’ll send you the directions.  Look, if you’re at all still into that scene, you need to come,” she told me as I wrote down my email on a napkin and handed it to her.

    With that she took Mikey’s hand, leading him out of the play area. I watched him toddle wide-legged along to a big push-chair, which she strapped him into and pushed away.  What was I getting myself into?  

    **

    I spent the night wondering what was going on here.  As soon as I woke up I grabbed my phone from the bed stand and checked my emails.  Sure enough the email from Jenna was there.  I could have ignored it, but deep down I knew that wasn’t an option. This was something I had to follow up or I’d be wondering about it forever.  So I made up an excuse about last minute shopping and headed off on my own to the meeting.  

    Jenna had sent me directions to cafe half an hour from my place.  When I arrived I spotted her instantly, but noted she was sitting with another woman.  Both of them were looking at me expectantly and I wondered if this other woman was the reason for the meeting needing to be now.  

    As I headed over to their table I noticed there was a small play area for children in the corner of the cafe, stocked with some simple toys.  Mikey was there, sitting on his bottom in a fluffy blue and white onesie, banging a plastic shovel against some blocks. But he wasn’t alone. Another young man was also down on his hands and knees, wearing bright red shortalls over a yellow t-shirt.  They weren’t playing together though, just next to each other.  The other fellow was busy with some blocks of his own, scooting them along the floor like toy cars.  

    “Have a seat,” Jenna said.  “This is a bit awkward, but I don’t think we’ve ever actually been formally introduced.” 

    I blushed as I sat down, realising I’d never even told her my name. I was just so focused on Mikey the other day.  “Oh, yeah. I’m Brad,” I told her.  

    “Lovely. Well, you know I’m Jenna and this is my friend Eva.”  

    The other woman was a bit older than us.  She looked to be in her late thirties, brown hair cut short, wearing activewear that suggested she was heading to the gym, or perhaps just wanted people to think she was heading there.  

    “It’s nice to meet you,” I told her.  

    “Lovely to meet you as well, Brad,” she replied.  “I think you already noticed my little one, playing with Mikey.  His name is Danny.  He’s a baby boy too, just like you honey,” she told me.  

    My heart fluttered.  Just like me, she said.  Of course she knew, Jenna would have told her. I knew that walking in, but it was still jarring, still thrilling, to hear it.  I’d never been sitting with two people who both knew my secret.  

    “They look very sweet, don’t they?” Eva said, gesturing to the two big babies playing in the corner. 

    “Um, yes, they do,” I agreed. 

    “You’d love to join them, wouldn’t you? Be down on your hands and knees playing instead of sitting here chatting with us grown-ups,” she suggested. 

    No one head ever verbalised by secret desires so boldly.  I honestly was lost for words. But that didn’t seem to matter, my silence, my lack of a denial, was more than enough to confirm the truth.  Eva nodded and went on.  “We’re still waiting for one more. Why don’t you go join the other boys and play until we’re all here.”  

    I just blinked, trying to take in what she was saying. Go join the other boys.  Go play in a toy corner meant for toddlers, for a preschooler at best.  To do that here in public, in this cafe filled with people.  Normally it would have been impossible, but now, in this new situations, it was actually a choice.  

    Jenna put her hand on my arm.  “Go on sweetie, it’s okay,” she assured me with the gentlest of smiles. “We know you want to play too.”  

    I did. I really did. Slowly I nodded and started to push my chair back.  

    “Hold on sweetie,” Eva stopped me though. “First you’ll need to just slip those shoes and socks off under the table.” 

    I stopped.  She was right.  Little boys who played in the toy corner didn’t wear grown-up shoes.  I toed them off under the table, then before I could lean down to grab them I felt Eva taking my feet into her hands, pulling them up to her lap and peeling off my socks one at a time, even giving me a gentle tickle across my now bare soles, making me giggle involuntarily.  

    “There we go, much better, much more appropriate for a little boy,” she cooed to me, like I was a actually a dumb little kid.  

    With that I got up and began to walk to the play area.  Their table was right by the door, so I had to cross the whole cafe, past many full tables.  I was suddenly and fully aware of the sensation of the smooth, cool floor under my bare feet.  It was so strange to be barefoot in public like this.  I was still wearing my normal t-shirt and khakis cargo shorts, but with the removal of my shoes and socks I had been reduced in status to early childhood in an instant.  Other customers glanced down at my feet and knew that I was headed not to the toilet, but to the toy corner, to the place little boys belonged.  

    Mikey looked up at me with those wide, vacant eyes, chewing on the end of his yellow plastic shovel as I arrived at the toy corner.  I knelt down onto my hands and knees right next to him.  I’d been in toy corners at cafes plenty of times, but always with Liam, always to supervise his play. Now, with my shoes gone, I wasn’t an adult supervisor, I was another child needing the supervision.  I felt a thrill just roll through my body at that thought.  Then I grabbed a Tonka dump truck and started to roll it around, started to make little engine noises for it.  

    I pushed my truck around Mikey, ignoring him, focusing on my own play.  I glanced up after a moment, looking up at the tables of adults chatting away, sipping their drinks, their coffee and tea, eating their fancy salads while I played at their feet.  No one was paying me any attention, I was just another little kid.  It was exhilarating.  

    I was quite enjoying my simple game of pushing the toy truck around, until a pair of hands quite suddenly grabbed the front of my toy and yanked it away from me.  Danny was kneeling before me now, the toy in his grasp.  “Mine!” he insisted with a look of determination on his face.

    I’d seen this plenty of times while watching Liam. Some toddler would snatch a toy away and tears would be the result. I would have to intervene and explain the need to share.  But I couldn’t do that this time. I was powerless to use my adult authority. I could only snatch the toy back if I wanted it, use brute force. But that would definitely cause tears, cause a tantrum even.  And that was attention I didn’t need.  So I had to let the toy go, move on to some blocks in a little pile nearby.  

    I stacked them but also watched Danny enjoying my toy truck.  I wondered if he was like Mikey, a real baby boy now.  Had he been an Adult Baby before? Had something been done to him, something unnatural, to make him this way?  He certainly didn’t seem to be acting either.  And any doubts about that were wiped away when he stopped pushing the truck and rose to a squat, gaping slack-jawed into the distance for a moment.  Then he blinked and declared, “Uh-oh!” before standing up and toddling wide-legged over to the table.  

    The fully grown man in bright red shortalls grabbed Eva’s arm and yanked it.  “Poopy!” he declared, loud enough for me to hear him in the toy corner.  

    “What a big boy you are, letting Mummy know,” she praised him.  As she took him to the toilets, led him along by the hand with a huge grin on his face, I knew that he wasn’t acting.  

    At least that meant I could reclaim my prized toy, grabbing the truck and beginning to drive it around again.  But the toy corner got a bit more crowded then as two girls appeared. Well one was actually a little girl. She looked to be maybe eight or nine, wearing a pink glittery t-shirt and knee-length capris and padding along on bare feet she still looked a bit old to be playing here.  But the adult woman holding her hand was a different matter. The woman was wearing a short-sleeved light green dress that fell just below her knees.  But, like the little girl, she was barefoot and more importantly she had a pacifier in her mouth and was suckling happily away at it.  It was clear the little girl was the one doing the leading here.  This four foot tall, pig-tailed, barefooted little girl was the one in charge.  

    “Look Sally they have blocks,” she cooed to the fully grown woman beside her.  

    The woman had been gazing off blankly at the wall, paying no attention to where she was being led until now.  But with this she smiled around her binkie and made a pleasant cooing noise.  

    “Come on silly girl, let’s play,” the little girl urged her.  

    The woman, Sally, dropped to her bottom, legs splayed apart so that her thick diaper was fully visible as she grabbed at the blocks. She didn’t seem to notice or care though, her sense of modesty was nonexistent of course.  The little girl with her simply looked after her, offered her new toys to play with, complimented her on being a good girl for not jamming blocks in her mouth, picked up her binkie from the floor when it inevitably dropped.  

    “Oopsie, dropped your dummy,” the girl cooed as the woman gaped up at her with slack lips, drool dribbling down her chin until the pacifier was re-inserted to her waiting mouth.   

    Then the pig-tailed girl looked down at me and gave me an equally condescending smile.  “You like your truck little boy?” she asked me in the most sickeningly sweet tone.  

    It was both humiliating and thrilling to be talked down to by some eight-year old.  All I could do was nod in answer to her question. 

    She giggled. “Little boys always love trucks and cars,” she explained, but not as though she expected me to understand.  

    “Brad, it’s time to eat sweetie.”  

    I looked up to see Jenna was standing in the toy corner now too.  But she wasn’t waiting on Mikey, she was letting him continue to play.  She just wanted me to come, was holding out her hand to me.  I stood up and took her hand, letting Jenna lead me that way back through the cafe.  No one was even giving us a second glance, but I still felt like everyone had to be staring.  

    Danny was at the table too now, but he was just colouring aimlessly, scribbling really, with a bunch of crayons and some paper the cafe provided.  He wasn’t my focus anymore. Now it was the other man who had joined us at the table, a fully dressed adult man who was looking right at me.  

    “Hello there Brad, my name is Grant. It’s very nice to meet you,” he said.  

    He had a kind voice and a warm smile. Part of me was still feeling very awkward about all of this, but I felt comfortable with this new man right away.  He wasn’t much older than me, but he just had a mature vibe that made him seem fatherly.  

    “Nice to meet you too,” I answered. 

    The two women were watching our exchange happily, though Eva was also busy looking after Danny, patting his back while he coloured, whispering encouragement to him.  She seemed to be a natural mum.  She liked being in control, liked coddling Danny like a little boy.  I wondered if they had been together before, or if Danny had sought out a woman to be his mummy.  

    “Would you like some crayons too?” Grant asked, making me realise I’d been staring at the colouring man.  

    “Oh… no, that’s okay,” I mumbled, blushing.  

    “It’s perfectly fine if you want to. I saw you looked quite happy playing with the other little boys in the toy corner,” Grant noted.  

    I had to be red as a tomato now.  I shook my head, not able to make eye-contact.  It felt so, so strange to discuss these things openly.  But Grant pushed forward. Clearly he wasn’t embarrassed at all and he didn’t want me to be either.  

    “Brad, my understanding is that you’re like Mikey and Danny.  You like toys, crayons, playing; all that kind of stuff.  Am I mistaken?” he asked. 

    “No.  I mean, you’re not mistaken. It’s just… a bit embarrassing for me,” I told him.  

    “That’s perfectly fine, I completely understand.  But you should feel comfortable talking with me, with all of us.  Everyone at this table understands. None of us are going to be judging you.  Okay?” 

    I nodded, feeling a bit more at ease.  

    “Good.  Now Jenna called me and told me that you’d like to come along to our follow-up because you were interested in the same things as Mikey.”  

    “Follow-up?” I asked. 

    “Yes, this was just going to be a normal follow-up on Mikey and Danny’s treatments, to make sure they were going well.  I like to keep up with my clients like that.  It’s important to me that they’re happy, well-adjusted, everything.  But I was happy to hear you’d be coming along,” Grant explained. 

    Treatments? Clients?  Was Grant responsible for the way Mikey and Danny were acting?  If that was the case, my interest in him just went way up.  

    “What kind of treatment?” I asked.  

    He smiled and patted Danny’s back.  “The kind that has Danny making lovely drawings for us now,” Grant answered.  

    So he was the man behind their change.  My heart thudded in my chest, excitement coursing through me at the very thought of being like Danny.  

    “I noticed you’re barefoot Brad. Is that normal for you?” he asked. 

    “Oh… uh, no, I mean I had shoes on when I got here. But they said I needed them off, to play with… to use the toy corner,” I explained. 

    He nodded. “And are you feeling comfy that way? In bare feet I mean.”  

    I brushed my soles across the floor. It felt good, both because my feet were free and because it made me feel so little.  “Yeah, it feels good,” I agreed. 

    Grant leant closer. “Makes you feel like a little boy?”  

    My penis instantly stiffened in my shorts.  “Yeah,” I whispered. 

    “Let’s have a look,” he said. I was confused, until I felt him taking my leg in his hands, lifting my foot into his lap. I sat there in awe as the man examined my bare foot, looked it over, then ran his fingers gently across the sole.  I couldn’t help but squirm and giggle. It just really tickled, in a nice way.  

    “Yes, these are very soft soles. And your feet are so clean. You understand that wouldn’t last long if you came to me for treatment. Feet like these mark you as an adult, even if you are barefoot.” 

    I nodded. “I want little boy feet,” I told him quickly, blushing at my admission.  

    He smiled and nodded, letting my foot go.  “Can I ask what age you would like to be?” 

    I shivered from head to toe, the adrenaline was rushing through my system so hard now.  “Well, I guess, if I had a choice, I’d be three,” I whispered. 

    He nodded and I noticed the women smiling. “A bit bigger than Danny and Mikey then, but still quite young.”

    I just nodded. 

    “Do you have anyone to care for you? A three-year old is a lot of work. You’d need a Mummy or a Daddy to look after you all the time.” 

    I frowned, my heart dropping. How could I ever tell Melissa about my secret desires? She already had Liam to care for and he was a lot of work. There was no way I could ask her to care for me as well, to take care of two giant toddlers all by herself.  I mean, there’s no way she’d agree anyway, so there was no point in asking and exposing myself to that shame. 

    “I… I don’t,” I admitted. 

    But Grant didn’t look worried, he didn’t tell me to come back when I had someone to be my carer, he just said, “That’s fine, we can always find a carer.” 

    I blinked in surprise. “You can?” 

    He nodded. “Yes, many people actually want to be Mummies or Daddies to a big little boy like you. If we can’t find one right away we place you with one of my past clients, as a brother I mean, until we have a permanent home.”  

    That seemed like a lot of work for him, which begged the question, “How much does this all cost?” 

    “My normal fee is twenty-five thousand.” 

    It was less than I’d been afraid actually. I had the money in my savings, so that wasn’t an issue. 

    “How do you do it? And how long does it take?” I asked. 

    “So I take it you are interested then? Really interested?” he asked. 

    “I… I am,” I answered with a gulp. 

    “Well then, let’s talk business!”

    **

    Two weeks later I found myself driving to the address Grant had sent to me using a secret, secure email.  I didn’t want Melissa knowing what was going on of course. As far as she knew, I was just going on a business trip. I’d be back next week. Except that I wouldn’t be back, not as she knew me anyway. The next time she saw me, if she ever did again, I’d be like Liam, a complete toddler.  It still made my heart flip-flop to even think about that. What would she say if she saw me that way? What would it be like for me? What would be going through my head if I stood barefoot in front of Melissa?  

    It had been so hard saying my good-byes, knowing it was really forever. I had given Liam the biggest, tightest cuddle that morning. Maybe he’d be my playmate some time in the future. Maybe we’d cuddle again, but now as equals.  I knew that was unlikely. Whoever my new carer was, they probably wouldn’t live close by.  

    I was going to have a carer, a Mummy or a Daddy. It was a thought that still gave me pause.  

    Grant lived in a middle class looking suburb, in an unassuming house behind a thick hedge-row that provided most of the front yard privacy.  I opened the wooden gate, a six-foot tall brown thing, and headed into the garden, leaving my car behind. I felt my keys in my hand. I may never drive again. What would even happen to my car? Odd, I hadn’t even considered that before now.  Too late to worry about it anyway.  

    The front yard was like something from a daycare centre. A paddling pool sat in the middle, rubber balls here and there, an open sandbox to the side.  I wondered if this was part of the therapy, playing with kids toys.  Grant had been consistently evasive about what he did exactly, about how long it took. All I knew for sure was the results.  

    I stepped onto the porch and knocked on the door.  I heard heavy footsteps hurrying my way. It sounded like someone was actually running to the door. I wondered why Grant was in such a hurry to greet me.  

    “I get! I get it!” someone shouted.  

    Then the door was flung open and I saw that it wasn’t Grant who had hurried to greet me after all.  It was another man, perhaps thirty years old, an inch or two shorter than me and a bit heavier. He wasn’t fat or anything, just a tiny bit chubby. His hair was cut short, but I could see it was dark.  He was wearing a baggy white t-shirt with a cartoon teddy bear design. It fell below his waist but seemed to be his only clothing item. His legs and feet were bare.  

    He had been eager to open the door, but now that he saw me the man went all shy. He blinked wordlessly at me and then slipped two fingers into his mouth, sucking on them while he stared at me with these wide, innocent eyes.  

    “Um, hi there. My name is Brad,” I told him, talking the way I would to Liam, to someone with a toddler’s mind.  “What’s your name?” I asked. 

    The man grinned, but didn’t remove his fingers as he answered, “I Gweggy.”  

    “Well hello there Greggy, it’s very nice to meet you,” I told him. 

    Greggy grinned even broader. “Nishe-ta-meet-oo,” he mimicked.  

    “That’s right,” I praised him. “And is this your house? Are you in charge here?” I asked. 

    Greggy let his fingers slip free as he giggled at my question.  “Noo-oh,” he sing-songed. “Imma widdle boy now! Notta gwown-up. Daddy’s in charge.” 

    He was a little boy now. That was an interesting qualifier.  

    “Ohhh,” I said. “You’re not a grown-up anymore?” 

    He shook his head vigorously.  “Fowgetted howa be big,” he told me. “Daddy make big boy stuff go bye-byes. Fo-eber,” he added.  

    As he told me this I couldn’t help but notice the t-shirt he was wearing began to tent out at the bottom. Something was poking at it, and the way he was behaving, his simple vocabulary and mannerisms all led me to feel comfortable simply reaching down and saying to him, “What’s poking out down here?” as I touched his t-shirt. 

    Greggy looked down and seemed to be actually wondering what it could be that was poking at his t-shirt. 

    “Should we have a look?” I asked him. 

    The glassy-eyed man nodded, looking legitimately curious.  There was no sign of hesitation, no sign of any awareness about what I was really asking to do.  

    I lifted the bottom of his t-shirt up. Sure enough, his bare penis bobbed free.  It was smooth, shaved like a little boy’s.  It was also quite erect. Clearly he’d found our conversation about his lost adulthood quite arousing.  

    “Oh I see,” I said brightly to him. “It’s just your doodle.” 

    Sure enough Greggy just smiled innocently, nibbling at a finger again.  “Daz my doodle,” he agreed. There was no sign of any modesty.  He was perfectly happy to have me seeing him like this.  

    “Well hello there!” Grant greeted, finally arriving at the door.  “I see you’ve already met little Greggy.” 

    “I getted da door!” Greggy announced.  

    “I see that! And look at you. You opened the door with a bare bum-bum didn’t you? You said a lovely hello to the new man with your pee-pee bouncing all free, didn’t you?” he asked in a tone that was clearly praising. 

    Greggy giggled and nodded.  

    Grant gave the man a loving rub on his back and said, “Good job buddy! You’re doing so well!”  

    As Greggy ate that up, Grant turned to me and explained, “We’ve been working on helping Greggy to let go of his adult modesty, helping him be a good little jaybird. And it seems Greggy’s finally letting go.” 

    He turned back to Greggy and said, “In fact I think you’re ready to lose this silly t-shirt now aren’t you?” 

    Greggy looked down at his t-shirt a moment, seeming to consider this idea. But after a moment he nodded and raised his hands up in the air, waiting for his Daddy to slip it off of him.  And that’s just what Grant did, leaving the man fully nude.  

    “There we go, is that better? You feel extra comfy now?” Grant asked him. 

    Greggy nodded right away and his penis jerked upward once again.  

    “Such a good boy today. I think you’ve earned a big sticky squirt! Would you like that Greggy?” 

    At the mention of squirts Greggy practically jumped up and down.  “Uh-huh! Wanna make stickies!”  

    “I think a special occasion like this, my little boy should make them in the grass, in the nice warm sun. How about it Greggy? You want to give the grass some creamy squirts?” 

    Greggy nodded, letting Grant take his hand and lead him down off the porch and into the front yard. Sure it was pretty private, but it was still outside. I could hear the cars passing by just beyond the hedge. But Greggy showed no concern about anyone seeing this. After all, he wasn’t worried that I was standing right there, a total stranger he’d only just met. And I was watching the whole thing.  

    Grant took the young man into the grass and then reached right down and started to gently rub his erect penis. Greggy didn’t look surprised or confused by this advance. No, he leaned into it, gyrating his hips as he humped his penis forward against Grant’s palm, grabbing onto his Daddy’s arm and grunting pleasantly.  It was obvious this was a normal experience for him, something that had happened many times before.  

    As Grant stroked his doodle, the therapist turned to me and explained, “This is a lovely reward for him, to help encourage his new behaviours. It was also a bit of a test, to make sure his modesty really is totally gone. As you can see, it really is.  And when he has his sticky, that bliss will permanently imprint the behaviour on his mind, associate it with this lovely feeling, with perfect release.”  

    It took another minute or two for them to finish. I stood and watched the whole show.  As he got closer Grant waved me over. “Give him some encouragement, could you?” 

    I nodded and stepped in front of them. Greggy looked up at me, slack-jawed now, drool dribbling down his chin as he panted. He gazed at me with these totally glazed over eyes and I felt so, so jealous of him.  

    “You’re such a lucky boy,” I told him. “It must be amazing, having Daddy help you do squirts.” 

    He reached out and put his free right hand on my shoulder, moaning up at me and nodding as Grant’s hand went up and down faster and faster on his bare, smooth penis.  

    Finally his whole body shuddered and a jet of cum erupted from his pee-pee, flying through the air and landing in a warm, sticky rope in the grass. It was quickly joined by more. Rope after rope of gooey cum was gifted to the grass while Greggy wiggled and scrunched his bare toes in it at the same time.  

    “You all done sweetie?” Grant asked him after the contractions had stopped and the last bits were dribbling down the shaft.  

    Greggy took a deep breath and nodded.  

    Grant took out a wet-nap and began cleaning the man’s body as his penis softened and began to dangle between his legs.  “That was a nice big one, wasn’t it Greggy?”

    “Big cweamies,” Greggy agreed. 

    “Yes, it must have felt extra good doing it all nakey in the yard.” 

    Greggy smiled and he announced, “Gweggy nakey boy.” 

    Grant nodded. “You sure are. Okay, let’s take Brad inside and let him get settled.” 

    “Him be nakey boy?” Greggy asked. 

    My heart skipped a beat at the question.  

    And it fluttered even more when Grant instantly nodded and said, “Yep, he’s going to be a total jaybird, just like you little one.”  

    **

    Grant got Greggy settled on the floor, playing with some simple toys, then he came back to me, still standing by the front door.  He took out his phone and said, “Okay, before we do anything else, we need to take a quick photo.” 

    “Oh, okay,” I agreed, though I felt awkward as he snapped a shot of me in front of the door.  

    “What’s that about?” I asked. 

    “I like to do before and after shots,” he explained. “Come have a look.”  

    I was confused, but I followed him into a smaller room, an office it seemed.  But it was the back wall that got my instant attention. The rest of the room was irrelevant. This was what it was all about.  The wall was divided into two sections. On the left were photos of men standing in front of the door, some inside, some out on the porch. I say men, but there were a handful of women. Clearly most of his clients were male though. The men were dressed in an assortment of outfits, but all looked pretty adult. I noticed some were wearing cartoon t-shirts though, a couple even in clearly juvenile outfits like shortalls or overalls and maybe a quarter of them were barefoot in their photos.  

    Grant was watching me, gauging my reaction.  He seemed to read my mind when he said, “Some of my clients have already been trying to be who they really are, inside.”

    “You mean the ones in overalls?” 

    He nodded. “A lot of them come to me barefoot. You notice?” 

    I nodded. 

    “I thought you might, after seeing you barefoot the other day. But I’m not that surprised you aren’t. As I said, you had soft soles. Those boys, they arrived here with tough ‘little boy feet’ as you put it.”  

    “I haven’t been able to live like that. I’ve been caring for a grown-down. I have a girlfriend.  Well, I had one.”

    “No need to explain,” he assured. 

    I was barely listening to be honest. I was looking at the right side of the wall. It was the same men, probably only days later, but they were barely recognisable. Facial hair, body hair, it was all gone. Balding ones had shaved heads, glasses were missing.  But most of all it was the outfits which changed.  The photos were in the same place, the front door. But they looked so different.  

    Many of the men were sitting on the floor or the porch now. Some were squatting, resting on their haunches. Maybe half were still standing up.  Two were looking at the camera upside down, heads between their legs.  A half dozen of them wore diapers, big thick ones that couldn’t be mistaken for pull-ups.  They bowed their legs out, left them waddling, left them true toddlers, or even crawlers.  Some wore cartoon print underoos instead. But most were simply naked.  The wall was covered in bare, dangling pee-pees.  Some mooned the camera with bare bottoms, though clearly innocently, thoughtlessly.  

    It didn’t look like any of them had an iota of sense left, a modicum of shame.  Every last one of them had a huge, dumb grin or an open-mouthed smile on their face. Chins shined with spittle where they weren’t messy with chocolate or peanut butter.  Even the ones who had arrived in bare feet, in shortalls, looked transformed. Standing or squatting there in their birthday suits, gaping empty-eyed at the camera, they looked much younger than before.  

    “As you can see, all my clients have left as happy little boys and girls.”  

    “Yeah, I see.”

    He patted my back. “Soon your photo will be up on that wall too. The one we took just now, it will go right there, in that space at the bottom left,” he explained, pointing.  “And the photo we take when you leave will go there on the right. You’ll be right there too, another smiling, dribbling big toddler. Everyone who comes after you will see your transformation, just like the others who preceded you.”  

    I was shivering now, so aroused by the thought of people seeing me like these other men.  

    “Now, let’s have some tea,” he suggested. 

    “Tea?”

    “Yep! You’ll really enjoy it, I promise.”  

    **

    The tea had a funny taste to it, one I hadn’t had before. I generally didn’t drink tea though, so then what did I know. Of course I didn’t want to be rude, so I finished it all. Grant seemed to be very intent on watching me finish it.  When I was done he seemed very happy, and went about cleaning up, telling me to simply rest.  

    It was maybe five minutes later that I began feeling a little odd. It was like the room was sort of gently bouncing around me when I turned my head. And I felt, well, kind of disconnected, almost out of my own body.  It should have been a scary sensation, but I wasn’t scared at all. No, I actually felt really calm, really relaxed. And yeah, a bit sleepy too. 

    “You’re looking tired from your drive,” Grant noted. 

    “Oh, no, I dunno why I feel so… um, funny,” I told him. And then I don’t know why, but I just started giggling, like he’d made a fantastic joke. I couldn’t help myself.  It was very embarrassing. But he didn’t look concerned, didn’t judge me. He just nodded and said, “Let’s go to the living room, I have a very comfy couch.”  

    So we walked to his living room. Greggy wasn’t there anymore. He must be playing upstairs, maybe in his room. I wanted to ask where he was, but my mouth wasn’t cooperating. 

    “There we go, let’s just have a seat here, nice and comfy,” Grant directed.  

    Oh yes, it was a comfy couch. I just seemed to be melting into it. My muscles were so, so heavy and now I was actually getting very drowsy indeed.  

    Grant sat next to me, put his hand on my shoulder. It felt so comforting.  

    “You’re feeling lovely and relaxed now, aren’t you Brad?” he asked in a gentle voice, rubbing my arm now.  

    I nodded and the room bounced around me.  

    “I know, that was very special tea, to help you get nice and open for me. It helps you soak in all my suggestions. I’m a pretty good hypnotist, but with that tea, anyone could be. So the combination is doubly powerful.”  

    The tea was making me feel this way. Of course it was, it seemed so obvious now. How had I missed it before? Oh, because I was drugged, of course. 

    “Now we’re going to have a nice lovely talk. Don’t worry too much, this is just the start. You won’t be turning into Greggy in less than an hour. You won’t be up on my wall tomorrow.  But from here on out, that’s what is going to happen. From here on out, there is no turning back. Once you drift under for me, you will be leaving this house as one of my lovely big toddler boys.  

    “And, I know that excites you quite a lot, doesn’t it Brad?”  

    I nodded right away. It was so, so exciting.  “I want to make stickies in the grass, all naked like Greggy,” I told him.  

    A feint sense of alarm hit me. I hadn’t meant to say that out loud. Those were my secret inner thoughts. But I’d actually said it!  

    Grant chuckled lightly. “I thought you enjoyed that.  Don’t you worry at all, you will be, sooner than you might think. Now, I want you to imagine something for me. Can you do that? Can you use your imagination?” 

    “Uh-huh,” I agreed. 

    “Little boys have vivid, powerful imaginations. I think you do too, don’t you?” 

    “I do,” I instantly agreed. 

    “And that’s so good, since it’s all we need to help you, to make you feel and think just the way you’ve always wanted.  So, use that imagination and picture yourself sitting in the most comfortable seat in the middle of a big, old movie theatre.”  

    Grant really helped me imagine that I was in a movie theatre. It didn’t take long at all, my imagination was just so good, and I really felt like I was sitting in it. I could see the other rows, the screen, the red curtains pulled to the sides. I was all alone in the theatre though, watching a movie just for me.  And then the screen was coming to life and the lights were slowly getting darker for the movie, and as they got darker the numbers flashed on the screen, counting down from 10 to 1. But they were just a bit out of focus. I had to squint to see them at first. But as they went down they got sharper. The lights got darker though and my seat got even comfier, even softer and I just melted into it. Until the numbers got to zero and then the lights went totally out and then… and then… I fell so deeply asleep.  

    **

    When I woke up I was still sitting on Grant’s couch.  I blinked away the incredible grogginess and looked around. As I did that I realised I had something on my head. I took off what turned out to be heavy noise-cancelling earphones. Wow, they were state of the art looking, very pricey.  Had I listened to music on them? I didn’t recall any.  

    I looked out the window and noticed the sun seemed to be setting. But that wasn’t right. That was the wrong direction.  No, the sun had recently risen!  I’d been sitting here, listening to something through these headphones all night!  

    I was still dressed though, still in my normal adult clothing, even with my shoes still on.  And I still felt well, normal. I felt like me. I didn’t feel like a dumb little kid. Though really, how would I know what that felt like? It was still a total mystery to me, what it was going to actually feel like to be like Greggy, like Liam. I mean, I knew what I was going to look like to other people. I knew I’d look like those other men on the wall, all dumb and naked. I knew how I’d behave.  But I didn’t know what my own experience of that would be. How I’d feel when Grant snapped my photo at the end, what I’d be thinking when I made stickies in the grass.  

    “Ah, he lives!” Grant declared, walking into the room. 

    “Bwady waked up?” Greggy asked, toddling into the room right after Grant, still as nude as the previous day. “Him widdle now? Him pway?” he asked eagerly. 

    “No, I don’t think it will be quite that fast buddy. You’ll have to wait,” he told the toddler man.  

    Greggy pouted but then seemed to instantly shift his attention to a new thought.  “Wanna scoot!” he announced.  

    “Okay, how do we ask?”  

    “Wan’ scoot pweaaathe!” he shouted.  

    “Alright.  Out you go,” Grant said, letting the eager man race wide-legged out of the room, heading to the front yard to push himself around on a little plastic push scooter.  

    That left me alone with Grant.  I had so many questions, but the most important was, “Did I… did you hypnotise me?”  

    Grant laughed. “How much do you recall from yesterday?” 

    “After getting here, having the tea… not much. Basically nothing.”  

    “Well then, yes, you went into trance for me. We did some very important work.”

    “Really?! Like what?” 

    “Oh you’ll see soon enough. But first we need to go to the supermarket, get something for dinner tonight.  I’ll get Greggy a bit more decent. But it looks like you’re already all dressed. That is, if you’re still happy to be dressed that way?”  

    I looked down at my clothes. I’d arrived dressed in my normal clothes, my adult casual wear of a t-shirt and jeans. I still felt perfectly comfortable in them. I shrugged. “Yeah, I’m fine.”  

    It felt so anticlimactic. Was something meant to have changed? I didn’t feel anything at all.  And Grant didn’t look worried, like his suggestions had failed.  

    “Okay then. But make sure you tie your shoes first. You don’t want to trip on the laces,” he warned. 

    Oh yeah, my shoes were on, but the laces were undone, just lying there.  

    “Yeah, thanks,” I said, leaning down and gripping the laces of my right shoe in my hands.  

    I was about to tie them when Grant suddenly reached over, a single finger extended and tapped my forehead while saying, “Blank.”  

    I felt a physical sensation actually pass from his finger right through my head. I swear it felt like a wave of energy just passed through my brain from forehead to the very back.  I felt a moment, an instant, of total disorientation. I lost my train of thought completely, forgot what I was doing.  

    Grant only touched me for that instant. Then he took his hand back and just watched me again.  I remembered what I was doing again. I was tying my shoes, the laces were already in my hands after all.  I looked at them, and… nothing.  I couldn’t think what to do next. I’d tied my shoes a million times in my life. But now, it really seemed impossible.  It seemed incredibly complex.  

    “Having trouble?” Grant asked. 

    “I… I can’t, um, I dunno how to tie my shoes,” I told him. 

    He nodded. “I know buddy. I took that away. You don’t know how to tie your shoes anymore. You never will again. From now on, if you need them tied, you’ll have to ask someone else to help you. It could be a grown-up, but even a young boy, maybe a seven year old, should be able to help you with that.”  

    The idea of needing a seven year old’s help was incredibly exciting of course. But I was also in shock at the loss of such a simple skill. I tried to undo whatever he’d done. I held the laces in my hands, I crossed them, I touched them together. I sat and tried so hard to recall what came next. But I just drew a total blank, even after a solid minute of trying.  

    “Well, you can’t walk around with them untied,” Grant told me.  

    “Okay. Can you tie them for me?” I asked, giving in. 

    Grant shrugged. “Are you sure you still want to wear them. It’s okay if you don’t”  

    He wanted me to go to the store barefoot!  God, the very thought of it made my penis stiffen. Everyone was going to see me in bare feet, and alongside Greggy. They’d all know instantly I was little.  It was just obviously so exciting. My dreams were actually coming true.  

    But there was also a problem.  I knew my feet were still very soft and it was going to be a hot day. Who knew how long we’d be out for. I needed to toughen my feet up here, in the yard first. It frustrated me, but I wasn’t ready to be barefoot all day yet.    

    “I… I wish I could just leave them.  But I still need them, for now. My feet are too soft,” I explained sadly. 

    He nodded with understanding. “Okay then. But first you have to prove to me that you’re still big enough to wear them. I need to know the suggestions from last night haven’t taken away too much of those big boy thoughts.”  

    I shrugged. I still felt like me, I could pass any such test.  

    “Okay, take off your shoes and then put them back on,” Grant told me. 

    “That’s it?” I asked, confused. 

    “Yep. Take off your shoes, put them back on and I’ll tie them for you and we can go.”  

    It was laughably simple. Tying a knot, that was tough, that took many kids until they were eight or nine years old to do right. But putting your shoes on? A preschooler could manage that with ease.  I wasn’t at Greggy’s level yet.  

    I slipped my sneakers off, set my socked feet down on the carpet a moment, then leant down to pick up the right sneaker.  Grant moved very quickly. His arm was up in a blur and I felt his finger tap my forehead again as he repeated, “Blank.”  

    The same sensation from last time, but even stronger now. A wave of disorientation blasting through my head.  I blinked in recovery, then looked at my shoes. Which one was right again? I stared and stared. And then I knew I’d lost my directions. 

    But I just needed to line them up, figure out which one fit which foot.  But I couldn’t do it. I tried to hard. But when I tried to put them on, I couldn’t get the right one on the right foot.  I couldn’t figure out which way the shoes should face even.  It was all so complicated suddenly.  

    “Brady, stop sweetie,” Grant said after a couple minutes. “There’s no point pretending. You don’t even know how to put your shoes on honey, you’re far too little to be wearing them now.” 

    I shook my head. “No, it’s just that. I remember everything else like normal.”  

    “Still, if you can’t put them on yourself, I don’t think you’re going to be wearing them. What if I’m not around. Would you be able to ask someone to help you with this?” 

    I imagined the shame of such a request. No, of course I wouldn’t.  

    “Exactly. So, it’s time we got those feet toughened up, isn’t it?”  

    I had to nod. He was right, the time had come after all.  Grant knelt down and pulled off my socks.  And I just felt so grateful to him. He was taking the step I was too afraid to take myself.

    “Can’t get them all dirty and holey,” he said.  Then he began to cuff my jeans up, so they wouldn’t drag in the dirt.  Finally he said, “See, much better.”  

    Yes, I liked the Tom Sawyer look it gave me.  I thought about that while Grant got Greggy dressed for the trip.  The other man complained about having to wear clothes at all. Funny he was apparently struggling with modesty just yesterday.  In the end Grant led us out the front door with Greggy wearing a pair of cut-off jean shorts but still no shirt.  And that’s how Grant drove us to the store. It was exciting to sit in the back, where kids sat, right next to Greggy.  I was worried about the rest of it though.  I mean, out in public in bare feet would be amazing. But I couldn’t quite shake that nagging worry.  What if I saw someone I knew, while I was still present enough to be embarrassed?  How could I explain it?  

    We were there pretty quickly. Grant came around and opened our doors. He had to, the child lock was on.  I stepped out onto the pavement, feeling it under the soles of my feet. Yeah, it was hot alright. Not burning yet, but not comfortable either. And there was the store, with so many people coming in and out, so many people who would see me like this.  

    “So, look at you, a barefoot boy heading into the store,” Grant said to me.  

    As I began to nod reluctantly, he reached up and put his hand on my shoulder, saying, “Bliss.”  

    It was pure, unadulterated pleasure than seemed to pulse out of his hand and through my body.  And the reason was utterly clear. I was a barefoot boy. It was what I was thinking about when he said it, and now it was so clear, being a barefoot boy felt good, really, really good.  I moaned. I actually let out this little moan and scrunched my toes against the pavement. It wasn’t too hot. No, it was perfect. I was warm and hard and it would make my feet dirty, it would make them tough, it would make them little boy feet and it felt so, so good to have little boy feet. It didn’t matter if someone I knew saw me this way, because that would be even better. That would be wonderful!  

    My vision went blurry for a moment and when it cleared I realised it was because my eyes had rolled right back in ecstasy.  But the wonderful sensation finally passed and I felt Grant’s hand taking my own.  

    “Come on now Brady, let’s get shopping,” he urged.  

    I let him lead me across the car park. Every step was wonderful. I wanted to stop and check my soles, see if they were black yet. I wanted to be his barefoot little boy, just like Greggy was, like Liam was for me.  But I couldn’t stop. Grant was leading the way, he was in charge now, not me.  It was so nice being led by the hand, but I noticed Greggy wasn’t on the other.  No, he was bounding out ahead of us. He was being kept in check by a strap around his wrist. He was on a leash.  He was clearly very little. Yes, everyone would know he was even littler than me, since he was also shirtless and he was on a toddler leash.  

    But as we walked into the store and I felt the cooler, smoother linoleum under my soles, I knew that people would now truly see me as Greggy’s big brother, rather than as his Daddy’s friend.  I looked around eagerly, wanting people to see my feet, wanting them to know I was a little boy. Ever since Grant touched my shoulder the worries I’d had before had totally disappeared.  

    Greggy didn’t stay on his leash for very long once we were in the store. Grant had him climb into the trolley. I felt a pang of jealousy. That was such a little boy thing. And as he pressed his feet against the mesh, everyone could see his dirty little boy soles. But mine stayed mostly hidden as I stood upright.  

    “Keep your hand on the trolley Brady,” Grant told me.  I did as instructed and he said, “Good boy.” 

    A sense of total happiness, security and accomplishment swept over me at the words. I was a good boy. It felt wonderful to be a good boy.  

    Grant pushed the trolley around the store. No one was really staring at me. It was an amazing experience for me, but to them I was just another grown-down out to shop with Daddy and little brother.  Nobody even seemed to be giving me a second glance.  I wondered if I should do something to make them see that I was little now, to acknowledge it. But I didn’t.  I needed to be a good boy and behave. That was very important.  

    In the trolley I noticed Greggy was sort of playing with his toes. He wiggled them in the mesh, then in his hands. He leant back and pulled his foot very close to his face. Daddy noticed too. He smiled, then reached down and placed his hand on Greggy’s shoulder before whispering to him.  “Bliss,” he said in Greggy’s ear.  

    I watched Greggy take a sharp, deep breath, his eyes fluttering a moment. Then he yanked his foot right to his mouth and jammed his toes between his lips.  

    “Look at my little toe muncher,” Grant cooed. “Such a good boy. You deserve lots of bliss.”  

    And Greggy shivered visibly with ecstasy, nibbling at his toes and gazing up at Grant with utter adoration.  I was stunned to witness Grant’s power over Greggy. He’d turned him into a toe-sucking baby, just like that. Greggy spent the rest of the shopping trip in that trolley sucking on or otherwise playing with his dirty toes.  I wondered what Grant would have me doing in the future.  

    **

    Ten Days Later 

    Greggy left a few days ago. Now it’s just me and Daddy. He had a name, a grown-up name. I used to know it. But he took it away yesterday. He asked me his name, then tapped my forehead and said the magic word, “Blank.”  And the name was gone. He told me it was Daddy after that and when I called him Daddy, he touched my shoulder and said “Bliss” and I never want to call him anything else again.  

    Daddy has taken away lots of my big boy things now. Some of them I remember doing, but not how. Other stuff I don’t remember at all. I just know things have gone, things grown-ups know and do easily. They’re things I can’t do. I can’t use a fork or knife. I use my fingers.  I can’t ride a bike or swim. I used to count how many days I’d been here with Daddy, but then I lost my numbers and then I lost time. I don’t know time anymore. I can’t feel it at all.  

    I was always a good boy at the beginning. But then Daddy said it was amazing how well I controlled myself, my emotions. And when I thought about how good I was at that, he said Blank. Now I have a hard time controlling my desires, my emotions. They feel super strong. They can’t wait, they can’t be ignored. Now Daddy has to discipline me, has to give me time outs because I don’t have any patience.  I get angry about that too, cuz Daddy took the patience away.  

    And when I get excited, when I’m happy, it’s also way, way more intense! I feel sooo good, I have to jump and yell and run around and screech because the feelings are so, sooo strong and I have to get them out.  

    Today we go to story time at the library.  I like story time a lot. The first time we went it was because I got to sit on the floor with the little kids, because I was like them, everyone knew it. But now, I like it because the stories are so much fun! I like it because the lady who reads them does cool voices. I like them because I can get all excited and make noise and clap and screech and no one gets upset. The other little boys are loud too!  

    So I sit on my bum and listen to the story. It’s about someone called Goldilocks. It’s a little familiar. I have that funny feeling I get when I know I’ve forgotten something, that this is a grown-up thing I used to know. But I just ignore it now. I don’t care. I want to have fun! I want to hear the funny voices.  

    “Does anyone know what was wrong with the next bed?” the lady asked in the middle of the story. 

    I knew! I was sure I knew!  

    “Wad too big!” I called out, I shouted while rising to my knees.  

    The lady smiled and nodded. 

    “That’s right Brady,” she told me. 

    I nodded and turned around so Daddy could see. I called out, “Daddy! I tolded!”  

    He nodded and said, “Yes Brady, but sit down now so she can finish.” 

    I sit back down. I feel so smart. And I feel like a good boy for doing as Daddy told me.  

    When the story is over the nice lady came over and talked to Daddy while I played with my cars on the floor.  She’s talking to him, not me, because he’s a grown-up and I’m just little. A few days ago, the first time it happened, it felt so, so good and Daddy told me “Bliss” and made it feel even better.  But now, I don’t really notice. Grown-ups talk to grown-ups. I’m playing cars. I like my cars. I smash them together and make noises for them, engine noises, tires noises.  Until I feel the lady’s hand on my back. It’s warm and soft.  

    “I see he’s feeling a lot more comfy in his own skin now,” I hear her say.  

    Daddy nods. She’s talking to him, not me, even though she’s touchin’ me.  

    “Yes, he’s definitely losing that modesty now. We’ve reached that stage,” he explained.  

    I understand some of the words, but not all of them. Not the big ones. I don’t know definitely and I don’t know modesty.  Daddy reads me stories at home. I cuddle up in his arms and he regularly taps my forehead and says Blank after big words. Lots of them have gone now. It’s really hard to understand what grown-ups talk about cuz I miss so many words. So now I don’t even try to listen when grown-ups talk.  

    But I like this lady and I like her hand on my back. I can feel it because I’m not wearing a shirt today. Daddy didn’t put one on me this morning, just my nice green board shorts. They’re really baggy too. But no shirt. I asked him where my shirt was and he said I didn’t need it today, it was just story time and when we left the house he said Bliss and the sun and wind felt so good, so perfect on my skin, on my back and tummy and I never want a shirt on again.  

    After story time, after library, we go home. I run ahead. I can’t get lost, Daddy’s harness on my wrist keeps me nice and safe. I can run and play and still be totally secure.  Out in front of the library there’s a fountain though and I want to play in it. As soon as I see it today, I just know I want to play.  I want to splash! I want to make a mess. A lovely warm feeling reminds me little boys need to make messes.  

    “Wanna go water Daddy!” I yell to him.  I point, I want him to see.  

    He sees it, he looks and nods.  

    “Well it is a warm day. But we don’t want to get your shorts and undies all wet. I didn’t bring any extra clothes,” he tells me.  

    I don’t care about that. I want to play. I need to play. I can’t be patient, Daddy took it away.  I hop up and down, feeling that lovely warm pavement under my bare feet.  I point again and yell louder, angrier, “Wan’ pway water! Bwady wanna pway!” 

    Daddy doesn’t look upset with my shouty voice. He says, “Okay, but if you’re going to play in that water we need to take these shorts and undies off, so they stay dry.”  

    I look down at my shorts and undies. If they go off, I’ll be totally nakey, and not like for my bathy, not like when Daddy gives me stickies at home. No, I’ll be nakey in public. The library is behind us, the street and car park just ahead and there are other parents and grown-downs around.  They would all see.  And that makes me feel scared deep down. Something so deep inside me still remembers that’s beyond anything I imagined. That’s not in Daddy’s private front yard, not on his secret wall photos.  That’s in public.  

    But I want to splash in the water. I’ve never wanted something so much, because that’s how it always feels now when I want something. I don’t want it now, I need it with every fibre of my being.  And Daddy says I can’t unless I’m nakey.  So I have to be nakey.  

    “Off!” I agree urgently.  

    Daddy looks unsure. “You want your shorts and undies off then Brady?” he asks me. 

    And I nod. I want them off so I can play in the water.  “Wan ‘em off now,” I tell him. “Wanna spwash!”  

    And with that he undoes the wrist strap to let me free of the leash and then he grabs the waist of my baggy green shorts and he yanks them and my cool Paws Patrol underoos, straight down.  He holds them there as I step clear of them, the same as I usually do for bath time, or to change into pyjamas for beddy-byes. Accept this isn’t our bathroom or my bedroom.  

    But I’m out of the clothes. I’m totally free and my doodle is hanging loose.  Daddy stands up, my shorts and underoos in his arms and I’m about ready to run to the fountain, to splash so much, when Daddy’s hand closes on my shoulder and he says, “Bliss.”  

    I gasp, feeling that wonderful, familiar feeling. But even as it washes over me, Daddy’s other hand closes over my forehead and he repeats “Bliss. Total Bliss.”  

    It’s the strongest euphoria I’ve experienced.  I grunt in pleasure, my whole body shakes from head to toe. And then it is time to go play, but as I run, as I rush to the fountain, my doodle isn’t dangling anymore. It’s bobbing against my tummy, it’s standing right up at attention and stickies are oozing down it.  I’ve got a happy pee-pee.  And it feels so good to have it out like this, where everyone can see it. Only the very littlest of boys run around nakey in public. And now I’m one of them! It’s the best feeling there is. I’m not shy, not embarrassed at all. I don’t care who is looking as I climb into the fountain. I just want to splash, just want to have so much fun!  

    **

    Waking up, it was the strangest feeling I’ve ever experienced. No, I don’t mean waking up from being asleep. No, that’s easy, that’s a daily experience. This kind of waking up was like coming up from a much, much deeper place, like coming out of a coma almost.  Suddenly all the things I’d lost were back. All the words, all the skills, they were there. I was able to feel time again, able to understand what I’d actually lost over the last couple weeks.  There was also an incredibly sensation of control, over my mind, my body, my emotions, my future.  Suddenly I was back in the driver’s seat.  

    I also realised how I’d been behaving. I was fully aware of what I’d done, what people had watched me do and it chilled me. I was just so thankful no one I knew had seen me playing buck naked in a fountain in front of the library. And then, after that, being walked back to the car that way since Grant hadn’t brought a towel. No one I knew had seen me eating my own filthy toes while I sat in a giant playpen in Grant’s living room.  No one familiar saw me getting jacked off repeatedly, spewing cum all over Grant’s lawn.  

    I also became aware of where I was. No longer was the Hotwheels car in my hands the centre of my world. Now I saw that we were sitting in a park, on a bench, near to but not right next to the playground.  The anger I’d had about not being able to go play on it faded instantly. The annoyance I felt gnawing at me, that I was forced to wear a t-shirt today, also quickly evaporated.  Suddenly I felt glad that I was wearing a t-shirt as well as my black jean shorts.  I was still barefoot though, yes I was instantly aware of that.  

    I peered down into my shirt’s neck-hole, noting my tanned skin, the lack of any lines, the total absence of body hair.  When had than been done? I honestly couldn’t recall now.  I took my right foot, yes, I knew which was the right one!  I took it and swung it up to my other knee, examining the sole. It was dark black and as I touched it, yes very thick and callused. I had little boy feet, I really did and that at least still really excited me.  

    “They’re nice and tough,” Grant commented.  

    I blinked, letting my foot go. I’d forgotten he was there for a second. But no, he was there, sitting right next to me. He must have just said some special word or phrase to bring back all my adult intellect. I hadn’t known this was a possibility.  I didn’t know why it was happening.  I recalled now that he’d had me pose for a photo earlier today, outside his front door. So this must be it, the end of the treatment. But why was I so alert then?  

    “Have a look at it then,” he said. 

    “What?”

    “The after photo,” he said, smirking, as he held up his phone. 

    And there I was, the photo of me that would go on his wall. I saw myself as never before. I was naked, squatting down playing with the same silly toy car I had in my hands now. But in the photo I looked obsessed with the simple toy, totally oblivious to my exposure, to my soft penis hanging between my legs. 

    “I don’t understand why I’m, well, me again? And why are we here?”  

    “This is where your new family wanted to meet. And after a little talk, she insisted she wanted to meet you mentally intact for now at least.”  

    I was still confused. “So you have a caretaker for me?” 

    “Well, not exactly.  You’ll see in a moment,” he said. “Ah, and here they are!”  

    I looked where Grant was looking and I nearly fell off the bench.  Melissa was walking along the path towards us, leading Liam by the hand.  As they reached us Melissa pointed at me for Liam and said, “Look honey!”  

    Liam grinned and hurried right over to us, climbing onto the bench on his knees and throwing his arms around me so tightly.  

    I felt so glad to cuddle him again. It was more than I could have hoped for, more than I’d dared dream. But at the same time I felt so ashamed to have Melissa here, seeing me like this, sitting here with dirty bare feet, a toy car in my hand. Liam was wearing no shirt, but otherwise his shorts and bare feet were so similar to mine. We could easily be the same mental age.   

    “Melissa, I… I just…” I tried. But what could I say to her. 

    She shook her head sadly.  “Brad, I thought we could be honest with each other. I have to say when I discovered your secret emails with Grant, I wasn’t very happy with you. I wanted to know why you didn’t trust me with your needs, your desires. I wanted to know how on Earth you thought it was best to just leave us.”

    I sat in horrified silence. Of course I deserved this, but I had hoped to take the coward’s way out, to be gone before she knew.  I felt myself tearing up at my foolishness, at my shame. 

    “For a few days I was very, very angry at you Brad. I thought I’d just leave you to it, let you have the dream that didn’t include me or Liam.”

    I shook my head violently. “No! That’s not it at all! Melissa…” 

    “Let me finish,” she cut my off.  “I was pissed for a few days. But the more I thought about it, the worse I felt that I missed what you needed so badly. And then I contacted Grant myself and he told me what you said, about being a burden on me.  And I thought about how hard it would be to admit such taboo desires.  And in the end I decided I couldn’t just leave you to it, leave you to risk being given away to some pervert who would have you under their total control.”

    I was stunned. She still cared about me, even after what I’d done to her, even after I just abandoned her.  I didn’t deserve her. No denying it, no pretending, she was far, far better than I.  

    “Melissa, I’m so sorry,” I gulped, tears running down my cheeks. 

    “It’s okay Brad, I understand why you did what you did. I’m still not happy with it, but I accept it.”  

    I nodded. “I promise Melissa, it’s over now. I had my absolute fill of it and I’m ready to come back, be the man you deserve. Or at least to try my best.”  

    But Melissa shook her head.  Oh God, she forgave me, but she didn’t want me back. 

    “No Brad, we aren’t just going to go on pretending what you want is to be Liam’s Daddy, be my boyfriend.  We’re going to be a family, we’re going to be together, but with you and Liam as equals, as brothers. I won’t be your girlfriend anymore, I’ll be Mummy from now on.”  

    I wondered if I was dreaming. It didn’t seem like it could be real.  “But Melissa, you can’t afford to care for two toddlers,” I told her. “It isn’t fair to you.” 

    “No, it isn’t,” she agreed instantly. “But it’s preferable to having you gone, being on my own with Liam. Having you here, having a permanent playmate for Liam, still being able to cuddle and love you, I can live with that.”  

    “You don’t have to, I can just…” 

    “Don’t lie anymore Brad. No more of this, out of your system rubbish. This is what you want. And it’s what’s going to happen. I asked Grant to bring back your adult thoughts so we could have this talk, but in a second we’re going to turn them right back off honey, going to let all those big boy worries just drift right out your ears for good, because this time I’ve asked Grant to make it permanent, just like you wanted.”  

    My jaw dropped open.  This feeling of competence and control was only temporary after all. In a moment I’d be right back to where I was before, to playing naked on the floor with Matchbox cars.  And worse, being with Melissa, being her baby boy, meant that I wouldn’t be able to live this out somewhere far away. All my friends, my family, every co-worker would know, they’d all see my descent into toddlerhood.  

    “Melissa, all my friends, our neighbours…” I began.

    “Don’t worry Brad. I promise, none of them will know you chose this life. None of them will know your regression was done through therapy. They’ll just think you had the virus, same as Liam. They’ll treat you the same as they do him, as they do any other victim.”  

    That was only a slight relief. It still meant they were going to see me like Liam. It was arousing alright, my God did that make me hard. But it was also way too real.  I didn’t actually want our neighbours seeing me that way.  I was hoping to be moved far away.  

    “Melissa, um, before we do anything, can we talk about some stuff, like clothing for example?”  

    Melissa gave me a sympathetic look but then shook her head. “Oh honey, little toddler boys don’t get a say in how they’re dressed.  And that’s what you are now. Your therapy is all done and Grant tells me it was 100% successful. Now, we brought you and Liam here so you could get to know each other again in a fun way, playing together. So it’s time to clear your head of all those grown-up smarts so you can have some proper fun.  Don’t be afraid honey, Grant tells me the final transition to toddlerhood feels glorious.”  

    I was shivering again, with both fear and anticipation. I turned to Grant, and asked, “Can you please just give me another couple minutes?” 

    But he shrugged and said, “Sorry buddy, it’s not my choice anymore.”  

    I was confused for a moment, but then I felt Melissa’s hand on my shoulder.  I looked over at her and she said “Blank boy, Blank boy, Blank boy.”  

    She was right. It was utter bliss.  The sensation of all my adult thoughts just drifting away was absolutely euphoric.  All the control I’d got back, all the independence was being taken away. I couldn’t stop it. I didn’t want to.  All the words, all the skills, all the abilities, just blinking out, pop, pop, pop, gone from my brain forever. And then the awareness of all of this began to fade away too. All those times I lost these skills, these abilities and it was so thrilling, so exciting at first, but then it became normal. And this time it was like that. 

    As the awareness of it seemed to drift away as well, what was happening simply began to feel normal, like I was meant to be this way, meant to be Mummy’s silly, giggly, messy little boy. That’s who I was always meant to be. It’s what I always would be.  Such a calming sensation, such a feeling of utter peace and contentment to know that.  

    Mummy hugged me close as the big thoughts went bye-byes. Mummy is her name. I lost her big person name.  I love Mummy very much. Mummy will take good care of me. I’ll be a good boy for her when I can. But I won’t always be, because the patience is going away again, the control is going away and the emotions are getting strong and irresistible again.  But now I feel love, I feel happy and the emotions are so strong I’m crying, cuddling Mummy so tight.  Love Mummy and love brother too.  Wanna play with brother. Wanna have fun. Wanna get all messy for Mummy.  So we do. Mummy sends us to play, me and brother, me and Liam.  And I play so good. I climb and crawl and roll around. And Mummy takes off my shirt cuz it getting dirty and cuz I feel so much better without it. I’m such a happy boy!  

    **

    Marge got the Little Lambs ready for their mid-morning nature walk. The dozen men and women who made up her group were all mentally two to three years old.  She absolutely adored working with the youngest ones in the daycare centre. Their real innocence was just adorable. Every day they discovered things, the very simplest of things, and were utterly amazed by them.  They were always saying the cutest things too.  They had no ability to lie, no guile whatsoever.  They were just the sweetest and most affectionate of children, just in big bodies.  She loved kissing away boo-boos, accepting regular cuddles from them and cleaning their fingers and faces after every meal.  

    She had been working at the centre for two years now and was still in love with her job. She didn’t mind the constant routine because it wasn’t about that, it was about the kids and she got new ones all the time.  Liam for example was one of her longer attending children. And he was just a lovely little boy so that was fine with her.  For many weeks he had been dropped off and picked up by his Daddy, Brad.  But then, about a month ago, Melissa had come by and told her that poor Brad had contracted the virus itself and worse, it was also the fast moving type and would leave him just as simple as Liam.  

    Now of course Marge felt sorry for Brad. She’s met him many times, had interesting conversations and he was a very loving and caring Daddy to Liam too. Few Daddies were so caring and consistent in her experience. It just didn’t seem fair to him, losing all his independence, all his intelligence.  He was such an astute man, so sharp and quick-witted. It would be quite the transition she had thought, to see him become like her simple-minded charges.  

    Marge finished cleaning a girl named Ellen’s fingers from the yoghurt she’d had for her morning tea.  Then she added Ellen to the rope they used to keep the simple little ones in order when walking, slipping her hand into the elastic loop and letting it automatically tighten. An adult could easily pull the loop in a way to slip free, but for Ellen, who was busy picking her nose and blowing bubbles with her saliva, it was an impossible puzzle.  Ellen joined the six others already on the rope line.  Unlike the other girl on the line, Ellen was topless. They’d taken her shirt off before tea since she had no bib and there seemed no need to redress her for the walk.  She certainly didn’t mind.  She was still better dressed than Liam, who was standing in front of her on the line. As usual he’d wanted his shorts and undies off for the walk. It had become his routine and nowadays she just stripped him automatically.  

    Finally Marge turned to her remaining charges. Little Brady was sitting on the floor at her feet, pushing a sippy cup along the floor between his splayed legs, making car vrooming downs for it with his lips.  She couldn’t help but smile when she looked down at her newest little one.  She’d been wrong before when she couldn’t imagine him actually becoming like her normal little ones. 

    Little Brady was sat there wearing just a pair of Paw Patrol underoos, his lips and fingers still stained with blue sticky liquid from the ice block he enjoyed for morning tea. He’d arrived in just a pair of shorts this morning, same as every morning since he began, just like Liam. Melissa had explained he had developed the same clothing habits as his brother and should be treated appropriately.  

    So the shorts had come off early today, even before Liam’s in fact.  She shook her head in wonder as the lovely little one played before her. 

    “Brady, time to go for walkies,” she cooed to him.  

    Brady looked up at her with wide innocent eyes and a slack expression. No witty words would be coming out of that gaping mouth anymore.  His toes wiggled and he echoed, “Go fow a walk.”  

    She nodded. “That’s right! You like going for walks, don’t you Brady?” 

    Now he grinned too and it was a big dumb cheerful toddler smile.  He turned onto his knees, underoos in the air a moment, then stood up, still smiling.  

    “Ready to go?” she asked him. 

    The former caretaker shook his head. “Off!” he said eagerly.  

    She knew what he meant but pretended not to. “Off?” she repeated, looking confused.  “What’s off?”  

    Brady giggled, loving this game.  “Undies off!” he shouted. “Bwady nakey boy!” 

    “Oh!” she chuckled. “Of course.”  

    And with him still giggling, she gripped the elastic waist of the underoos and yanked them down, so he could step clear.  Then Brady let her take his hand and lead him to the rope, slipping his wrist in as well, attaching him to it two places behind Liam.  There he stood, passively waiting for the others to be clipped in. He pulled his hand up a couple times, gazed at the strap around his wrist with glassy eyes, then let it go back down.  He hadn’t a clue how to get free of it either.  

    Today’s nature walk took the group out the front of the daycare, a block down the street and across it, then down the trail. Normally Marge would have assured all the grown-down charges in her care were partially clothed at least for this walk. But Melissa had assured her she wasn’t bothered with her boys nudist streak, so she decided it would be okay for them.  

    So soon the line of a dozen men and women was making its way along the footpath in the warm mid-day sun. There was no mistaking that this was a daycare group of course.  As other people walked past the line they gave sympathetic smiles to Marge, casting their eyes over her poor mentally reduced charges.  How unlucky they were to get that version of the virus, they thought.  And right in the middle of the line Brady made his way along between the rest. The strangers just saw a second fully nude man, toddling along with his wrist fully restrained, his hairless penis soft and swinging free between his legs.  No one would have ever suspected that he wasn’t actually a virus victim at all, that he was here entirely as a result of his own free choices.  

    Because Brady wasn’t pretending, he wasn’t acting. When they turned down the nature path and his feet padded onto the soft dirt Brady smiled with honest glee and he announced “Bwady needa tinkle!”  

    Marge stopped the group but didn’t bother to free Brady’s wrist from the rope. It would be too much work.  Surely Brad would have thought this a step too far. He couldn’t have known this was normal practice at the daycare after all. No one could have told him.  But Brad wasn’t home anymore. When he’d heard Melissa say the magic words he’d allowed the suggestions carefully conditioned into his mind to take over. He let them turn off all his intellect and even his adult awareness.  

    So he didn’t argue, he didn’t balk at all when Marge turned him sideways on the path and while all the other men and women watched, she patted his bared bottom and said, “Go ahead sweetie. Make your tinkles Brady.”  

    And he let out a pleasant sigh and then smiled as he let out a golden stream of pee all over the ground between his feet.  “Bwady pee-pee!” he announced happily when he was done, totally oblivious as the rope moved along and he toddled barefoot into the forest.